Background: The role of leptin in the course of liver disease due to chronic viral hepatitis (CVH) remains controversial. Our aims were to investigate the relationship between serum leptin concentrations and the severity of liver disease in a cohort of subjects with HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and C (CHC) and to analyze the effect of body composition, the leptin system and insulin resistance together with viral factors on virologic response to antiviral treatment. Methods: We studied 50 (36 men) consecutive patients suffering from biopsy-proven CVH due to HBV (n = 25) or HCV (n = 25) infection. Thirty-two (17 men) healthy volunteers served as controls. Levels of serum leptin and insulin were determined by immunoassays at baseline and at the end of the treatment. Results: A significant association between serum leptin levels and the stage of hepatic fibrosis was noted; patients with cirrhosis presented higher serum leptin levels compared to those with lower fibrosis stage [CHB patients (17436 pg/ml vs 6028.5 pg/ml, p = 0.03), CHC patients (18014 pg/ml vs 4385 pg/ml, p = 0.05]. An inverse correlation between lower leptin levels and response to lamivudine monotherapy was noted in patients with CHB; those with a virologic response presented lower serum leptin levels (5334 vs 13111.5 pg/ml; p-value = 0.003) than non-responders. In genotype 1 CHC patients, insulin resistance played a significant role in the response to antiviral therapy. Conclusion: Our data clearly suggest that cirrhosis due to CHB or CHC is associated with higher leptin levels. Increased serum leptin levels represent a negative prognostic factor for response to lamivudine monotherapy in patients with CHB. In CHC patients insulin resistance strongly influences the response to antiviral treatment in patients infected with genotype 1. © 2007 Manolakopoulos et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Manolakopoulos, S., Bethanis, S., Liapi, C., Stripeli, F., Sklavos, P., Margeli, A., … Theocharis, S. (2007). An assessment of serum leptin levels in patients with chronic viral hepatitis: A prospective study. BMC Gastroenterology, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-230X-7-17