Ghrelin and Its Relation with N-Terminal Brain Natriuretic Peptide, Endothelin-1 and Nitric Oxide in Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension

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To investigate ghrelin levels in patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) and the association of ghrelin with N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (N-BNP), endothelin-1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide (NO).


Plasma ghrelin, N-BNP, ET-1 and NO were measured, and echocardiography was performed in 20 IPAH patients and in 20 control subjects matched for age, sex and body mass index.


Plasma ghrelin and NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in IPAH patients compared with values in control subjects (p < 0.05). In IPAH patients, ghrelin levels correlated positively with N-BNP (r = 0.616, p = 0.004), NO (r = 0.464, p = 0.039), right ventricle diameter (RVD; r = 0.485, p = 0.030) and pulmonary arterial systolic pressure (PASP; r = 0.591, p = 0.006). N-BNP levels correlated positively with RVD (r = 0.551, p = 0.012) and ET-1 (r = 0.451, p = 0.046).


Plasma ghrelin levels were elevated in IPAH. Increased ghrelin levels correlated positively with N-BNP, PASP, RVD and NO, and N-BNP levels correlated positively with RVD and ET-1. Pulmonary vascular pathology is a complex imbalance of opposing forces. Ghrelin may not only provide a novel prognostic biomarker for IPAH but also be a potential new therapeutic strategy.

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