Assessment of serum visfatin levels in girls with anorexia nervosa


Joanna Oświęcimska, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, ul. 3-Maja 13/15, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland. Tel.: +4832 3704273; Fax: +48 32 2718701; E-mail:


Objective  Visfatin (VISF) is a recently described peptide regulating the process of adipocyte differentiation. Only one pilot study of VISF expression in the fat tissue and its circulating concentrations in a small group of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been published, yet.

Design and patients  Cross-sectional assessment of VISF serum concentrations in 195 girls aged 11–18·9 years with AN (n = 87), eating disorders not otherwise specified (NOS; n = 17), simple obesity (OB; n = 30), and healthy controls (H; n = 61).

Measurements  Blood samples were collected during the fasting state between 7:00 am–8:30 am. VISF serum concentrations were determined using enzyme immunoassay. Comparisons of VISF levels between groups were performed.

Results  Mean serum VISF concentrations in girls with AN and NOS were significantly lower than those in the H and OB groups. Serum VISF concentrations were higher in the OB than in the H groups. When were calculated per body mass index (BMI), VISF concentrations were significantly lower in the AN, NOS, and OB groups than in healthy controls. Among participants with a normal BMI, serum VISF concentrations correlated positively with BMI (r = 0·27; P < 0·05). In the OB group, a significant, negative correlation between BMI and VISF levels (r = −0·38; = 0·04) was observed.

Conclusions  Compared with healthy girls, serum VISF concentrations are decreased in girls with AN. Conversely, obese girls have elevated VISF levels. When calculated per BMI (VISF/BMI), the results in AN and OB groups were lower than in healthy participants.