Purpose: Tamoxifen, used in breast cancer treatment, may induce hepatic steatosis. It has been suggested that leptin, which has a relationship with body fat stores, may be involved in the pathogenesis of hepatic steatosis. In this study, we compared serum leptin levels in tamoxifen-treated patients with and without hepatic steatosis.
Methods: Thirty-four women with breast cancer receiving tamoxifen were included in the study. Serum samples were obtained from the patients before and 3 months after tamoxifen therapy.
Results: Increased hepatic steatosis was detected in 15 of 34 (44%) patients after 3 months of tamoxifen therapy. Serum leptin levels were found to be significantly elevated in patients with increased hepatic steatosis (37.3 +/- 17.7 to 50.5 +/- 22.4 ng/ml, p = 0.023) compared to (48.2 +/- 20.2 to 42.6 +/- 14.9 ng/ml, p > 0.05) after tamoxifen treatment.
Conclusion: Leptin may play a role in tamoxifen-induced hepatic steatosis. The exact mechanism involved should be investigated in further studies.