Background: Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that is involved in gastrointestinal motility and secretion; and therefore, may play a role in functional dyspepsia.
Objectives: To compare the change of serum ghrelin level in relation to meal-time, between patients with functional dyspepsia and a control group.
Materials and methods: In a cross-sectional study, 18 subjects with functional dyspepsia according to the Rome III criteria were enrolled in our study. Blood samples were collected five times: 30 minutes (min) before a standard breakfast; at the time as serving breakfast; and 30, 60 and 90 min after breakfast. Serum ghrelin concentration was measured in these patients and compared with eight normal individuals, as controls.
Results: The serum ghrelin level 30 minutes after breakfast was significantly higher in dyspepsia patients, compared to controls (751 ± 171.84 pg/ml versus 576.9 ± 195.62 pg/ml, p = 0.033). Although patients had a higher mean serum ghrelin level 30 minutes before, exactly at the time of serving breakfast and 60 min after breakfast there was no statistically significant difference between patients and controls. The shape of the curve was also different between the two groups, from 30 min until 90 min after breakfast, which is the time that most dyspeptic symptoms usually occur, although this difference was not significant (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The significantly different ghrelin levels between dyspeptic patients and the normal population showed that ghrelin may have an important role in inducing symptoms, in functional dyspeptic patients.
Keywords: Dyspepsia; functional dyspepsia; ghrelin; mealtime; post-prandial period; pre-prandial period.
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