Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 327–331

Persistent Correlation of Ghrelin Plasma Levels with Body Mass Index Both in Stable Weight Conditions and during Gastric-bypass-induced Weight Loss


  • J. Ybarra
    • Instituto de Cardiología AvanzadaCentro Medico Teknon
    • Service of Therapeutic Education for Chronic DiseasesGeneva University Hospital
  • G. Chassot
    • Clinic of Digestive SurgeryGeneva University Hospital
  • O. Huber
    • Clinic of Digestive SurgeryGeneva University Hospital
  • Ph. Morel
    • Clinic of Digestive SurgeryGeneva University Hospital
  • F. Assimacopoulos-Jeannet
    • Department of Cell Physiology and MetabolismGeneva Medical School
  • A. Golay
    • Service of Therapeutic Education for Chronic DiseasesGeneva University Hospital
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11695-008-9748-8

Cite this article as:
Ybarra, J., Bobbioni-Harsch, E., Chassot, G. et al. OBES SURG (2009) 19: 327. doi:10.1007/s11695-008-9748-8



Studies done on serial changes in plasma ghrelin levels after gastric bypass (GBP) have yielded contrasting results since decreased, unchanged, or increased levels have been reported in the literature. This study investigates whether or not GBP has an inhibitory effect on fasting ghrelin levels independently of weight loss.


Fasting ghrelin levels were measured in 115 stable body weight females, classified as normal body weight (NW; body mass index (BMI) < 25 kg/m2), overweight (OW; BMI 25–30 kg/m2), and obese subjects, divided in three subgroups with increasing BMI (BMI 30–40 kg/m2; BMI 40–50 kg/m2; BMI >50 kg/m2).


Each obese subgroup showed significantly lower ghrelin levels as compared to both NW (p < 0.0001) and OW subjects (p < 0.05 or 0.005); however, no significant differences were observed within the three obese subgroups. Forty-nine obese patients underwent a GBP. Plasma ghrelin, measured at 3, 6, and 12 months after GBP, significantly increased from the sixth month on (p < 0.0001). When patients were classified, at each postoperative time point, according to their actual BMI, ghrelin was significantly (p = 0.0002) related to postoperative BMI and not significantly different from ghrelin measured in stable body weight conditions.


Fasting ghrelin displays an inversely significant correlation with BMI in both stable body weight conditions and after GBP. No evidence was found that GBP had an effect on fasting ghrelin levels, independent of weight loss.


GhrelinBMIObesityBody weight lossGastric bypass

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008