Abstract: Background: Adiponectin is a hormone secreted by adipocytes and has anti-diabetic and anti-atherogenic properties. Hypoadiponectinemia is associated with insulin-resistant diabetes and liver dysfunction. The aim of this study was to determine plasma adiponectin and insulin levels in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Methods: Adiponectin and insulin levels were determined in 38 patients with cirrhosis and 30 healthy controls, and were correlated with various clinical and biochemical parameters. Patients included 21 with Child A, eight Child B, and nine with Child C liver cirrhosis.
Results: Log adiponectin and insulin levels were significantly elevated in patients with cirrhosis compared with the control. In liver cirrhosis, the level of adiponectin increased proportionately with the Child's classification score. In control subjects, plasma adiponectin correlated inversely with insulin levels. In contrast, plasma adiponectin correlated positively with insulin levels in patients with liver cirrhosis. Plasma adiponectin levels did not correlate with age, sex, body mass index, total bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase, and fasting blood sugar levels in both groups, while alanine aminotransferase correlated negatively with adiponectin in control subjects as reported previously.
Conclusion: Our results of high plasma adiponectin in patients with liver cirrhosis could reflect an imbalance between its production by adipocytes and metabolism in the liver.