Changes in Serum Myostatin Levels in Alcoholic Hepatitis Correlate with Improvement in MELD

Hani Shamseddeen, Abhishek Madathanapalli, Vijay S. Are, Vijay H. Shah, Arun J. Sanyal, Qing Tang, Tiebing Liang, Kayla Gelow, Teresa A. Zimmers, Naga Chalasani, Archita P. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is a serious clinical syndrome often associated with muscle wasting. Myostatin, a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, has been studied in diseases with muscle wasting; however, the role of myostatin in AH is unknown. Aims: To investigate the association between myostatin, clinical variables, and outcomes in AH. Methods: We analyzed data for cases of AH and controls of heavy drinkers (HD) in TREAT001 (NCT02172898) with serum myostatin levels (AH: n = 131, HD: n = 124). We compared characteristics between the two groups at baseline, 30, and 90 days and explored correlations between myostatin and clinical variables. We then modeled the relationship of myostatin to other variables, including mortality. Results: Baseline median myostatin was lower in AH compared to HD (males: 1.58 vs 3.06 ng/ml, p < 0.001; females: 0.84 vs 2.01 ng/ml, p < 0.001). In multivariable linear regression, bilirubin, WBC, and platelet count remained negatively correlated with myostatin in AH. AH females who died at 90 days had significantly lower myostatin, but in a multivariable logistic model with MELD and myostatin, only MELD remained significantly associated with 90-day mortality. During 1-year follow-up, AH cases (n = 30) demonstrated an increase in myostatin (mean, 1.73 ng/ml) which correlated with decreasing MELD scores (ρ = − 0.42, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Myostatin levels are significantly lower in AH compared to HD and are negatively correlated with total bilirubin, WBC, and platelet count. Myostatin increased as patients experienced decreases in MELD. Overall, myostatin demonstrated a dynamic relationship with AH outcomes and future studies are needed to understand the prognostic role of myostatin in AH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3062-3073
Number of pages12
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Alcoholism
  • Biomarker
  • Muscle wasting
  • TREAT001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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