P022 A correlation of serum Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 level with inflammatory markers and indicators of nutritional status in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Łukawska, A.(1)*;Mulak, A.(1);

(1)Wroclaw Medical University, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Wrocław, Poland;


Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine hormone produced mostly in the liver, adipose tissue, and the pancreas. Main inducers of the FGF21 secretion include fasting state, overfeeding, inflammation, and physical activity. FGF21 is involved in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins. It also participates in body weight regulation. Previous studies have shown that serum FGF21 level is increased in animal model of colitis and patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (Liu et al. Gastroenterol Res Pract 2017). The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between serum FGF21 level and inflammatory markers as well as indicators of nutritional status in IBD patients. 


Fasting serum FGF21 level was measured using ELISA test in 67 patients with IBD (38 patients with Crohn’s disease and 29 patients with ulcerative colitis) and 10 control subjects. Among IBD patients, 24 subjects were in remission and 43 in acute phase of the disease. Fecal calprotectin, serum CRP, albumin and cholesterol levels were tested in all patients. BMI was also assessed. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient (R) was calculated to evaluate associations between the variables.


No significant differences were found in serum FGF21 level between four studied groups: all IBD patients, IBD patients with remission, IBD patients with exacerbation and healthy controls. However, a positive correlation was observed in IBD patients between serum FGF21 and fecal calprotectin levels (R= 0.39, p= 0.003). There was also a trend toward a positive correlation between FGF21 and CRP levels (R= 0.24, p= 0.053). Moreover, an inverse correlation was found in IBD patients between FGF21 level and nutritional status indicators: BMI (R= –0.36, p= 0.003), albumin level (R= –0.38, p= 0.001), and cholesterol level (R= –0.30, p= 0.014). 


The intensity of intestinal inflammation is related to FGF21 level, which correlates negatively with nutritional status indicators in the course of IBD. The disturbances in FGF21 secretion may contribute to the multifactorial pathogenesis of malnutrition and weight loss in IBD patients.