Gallbladder Dyskinesia Is Associated With an Impaired Postprandial Fibroblast Growth Factor 19 Response in Critically Ill Patients

Kiran V. K. Koelfat*, Mark P. Plummer, Frank G. Schaap, Martin Lenicek, Peter L. M. Jansen, Adam M. Deane, Steven W. M. Olde Damink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)


Critical illness is associated with a disturbed regulation of gastrointestinal hormones resulting in functional and metabolic anomalies. Fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) is an ileum-derived metabolic hormone induced by bile salts upon gallbladder emptying after enteral nutrient stimulation. Our aim was to study the nutrient-stimulated FGF19 response in 24 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) compared with 12 healthy controls. All subjects received intraduodenal high-lipid nutrient infusion for 120 minutes. Blood was collected every 30 minutes until 1 hour after infusion, and gallbladder emptying was studied by ultrasound. Serum levels of bile salts and FGF19 were assessed. ICU patients had significantly higher fasting bile salt serum levels compared with controls, whereas FGF19 serum levels were similar. In both groups, nutrient infusion elicited substantial bile salt elevations (P <0.001), peaking at 90 minutes, albeit with a significantly lower peak in the ICU patients (P = 0.029). In controls, FGF19 was significantly elevated relative to baseline from 120 minutes onward (P <0.001). In ICU patients, the FGF19 response was blunted, as reflected by significantly lower FGF19 elevations at 120, 150, and 180 minutes (P <0.05) and significantly lower area under the curve (AUC) values compared with controls (P <0.001). Gallbladder dysmotility was associated with the impaired FGF19 response in critical illness. The gallbladder ejection fraction correlated positively with FGF19 AUC values (rho = +0.34, P = 0.045). In 10 of 24 ICU patients, gallbladder emptying was disturbed. These patients had significantly lower FGF19 AUC values (P <0.001). Gallbladder emptying and the FGF19 response were respectively disturbed or absent in patients receiving norepinephrine. Conclusion: The nutrient-stimulated FGF19 response is impaired in ICU patients, which is mechanistically linked to gallbladder dysmotility in critical illness. This may contribute to disturbed liver metabolism in these patients and has potential as a nutritional biomarker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-318
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • BILE
  • FGF19
  • MASS

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