Abstract: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with insulin resistance (IR). Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) and ghrelin are two bioactive proteins that have been involved in glucose metabolism and IR, but also in the regulation of immune and inflammatory processes. The aim of this study was to determine the serum levels of RBP4 and ghrelin in patients with HS, and to assess the possible relationship between these levels and IR, disease severity and HS risk. A total of 137 subjects (77 HS patients and 60 controls) without diabetes mellitus were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Patients with HS had significantly higher RBP4 but lower ghrelin plasma levels than controls, independently of body mass index (BMI). Serum RBP4 levels were positively correlated to disease severity and IR in HS patients. However, we found no association between ghrelin levels and any clinical or laboratory parameters. Moreover, high serum RBP4 and low ghrelin levels were associated with an increased risk for HS. Our results suggest that high RBP4 levels may be a surrogate biomarker for IR in patients with HS. Moreover, increased RBP4 and decreased ghrelin levels could also be independent risk factors for the development of HS.
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