Supplementary Material for: Severity of Gastric Mucosal Atrophy Is the Major Determinant of Plasma Ghrelin Level in Hemodialysis Patients

<i>Background:</i> Ghrelin, an orexigenic hormone, has multiple favorable functions including protein anabolism enhancement, anti-inflammatory actions, and cardiovascular protection. A low plasma ghrelin level is associated with increased mortality in patients treated with hemodialysis (HD). However, it is unclear whether the plasma ghrelin level in HD patients correlates with the severity of gastric mucosal atrophy and <i>Helicobacter pylori</i> status. <i>Methods:</i> Seventy-eight maintenance HD patients and 51 non-dialysis patients with chronic kidney disease were evaluated for severity of gastric mucosal atrophy by gastroduodenoscopy and for <i>H. pylori</i> status using an anti-<i>H. pylori</i>-antibody and rapid urease test. Plasma acyl and des-acyl ghrelin levels were measured and their associations with relevant clinical parameters were investigated. <i>Results:</i> Des-acyl ghrelin level in HD patients was significantly higher than that in patients with kidney function preserved. Although acyl and des-acyl ghrelin levels were similar between current <i>H. pylori </i>positive and negative HD patients, both levels decreased significantly with the progress of endoscopic gastric mucosal atrophy in HD patients. Serum pepsinogen (PG) I level and PG I/II ratio decreased significantly according to the severity of atrophy in HD patients and positively significantly correlated with both ghrelin levels. Multiple regression analysis showed significant positive correlations between acyl ghrelin and PG I levels (β = 0.738, p < 0.001) and significant negative correlations between ghrelin and age, albumin, and creatinine levels. <i>Conclusions:</i> Gastric atrophy is the major determinant of ghrelin level in HD patients. Management practices, such as <i>H. pylori</i> eradication, before advanced atrophy may be required to prevent the decrease of ghrelin levels and improve the prognosis of HD patients.