Purpose: Ghrelin is mainly secreted from the stomach and plays a role in appetite, weight gain, and the promotion of a positive energy balance. The levels of ghrelin decrease immediately after gastrectomy. We herein investigated the effect of the administration of synthetic ghrelin to treat postoperative severe weight loss in a prospective, one-arm clinical trial to develop new strategies for weight gain. Methods: Ten patients (four distal gastrectomy and six total gastrectomy) received ghrelin treatment. Eligibility criteria included patients who underwent gastrectomy more than 1 year previously and 15 % body weight loss from the preoperative weight or a body mass index under 19. Synthetic human ghrelin (3 μg/kg) was administered to the patients twice a day for 1 week. Oral intake of calories, appetite [evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS)], and body weight before and during administration of ghrelin were compared. Results: There was a significant difference in the oral food intake before and during treatment (before treatment: 1236 ± 409 kcal vs. during treatment: 1398 ± 365 kcal, p = 0.039), and the VAS for appetite significantly improved with each day of ghrelin administration (p < 0.05). Significant amounts of body weight were gained (39.5 ± 6.8 vs. 40.1 ± 6.9, p = 0.037). Conclusions: The administration of synthetic ghrelin improved the food intake and was effective for treating appetite loss and body weight loss. Synthetic ghrelin may be a promising new therapy for severe body weight loss following gastrectomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes