, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 767-774
Date: 09 Oct 2010

Study of adiponectin in chronic liver disease and cholestasis

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Adiponectin is an adipocytokine suggested to have a hepatoprotective effect. To date, little information is available in the literature regarding changes in serum adiponectin levels in cirrhosis and cholestasis and the associated metabolic disturbances. In order to elucidate the role of adiponectin in chronic liver disease our aim was to determine serum adiponectin in patients with different grades of cirrhosis and cholestasis and to correlate it with markers of liver injury, inflammation and cholestasis. We also aimed to correlate adiponectin with markers of metabolic syndrome such as body mass index and insulin resistance.


Forty patients with cirrhosis; 30 patients with cirrhosis and cholestasis; and 20 matched controls were studied. They were subjected to clinical assessment, laboratory investigations: serum bilirubin, ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, GGT, albumin, C-reactive protein, prothrombin activity, fasting blood sugar, insulin. HOMA index was calculated. Abdominal ultrasonography and upper GI endoscopy were performed.


Adiponectin was elevated in patients with cirrhosis and cirrhosis/cholestasis and was significantly higher in Child A and B. Adiponectin showed correlation with liver cell injury, marker of inflammation, synthetic liver function and markers of cholestasis. Adiponectin did not correlate with complications of cirrhosis as ascites and esophageal varices nor did it correlate with BMI or HOMA.


Adiponectin is elevated in cirrhosis and shows correlation with degree of hepatocellular injury and cholestasis. Finally, adiponectin levels in cirrhosis do not correlate with parameters of body composition or metabolism but exclusively with reduced liver function.