Purpose: Patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) could commonly have bone damage, often preceded by metabolic alterations due to a relative energy deficit state. To date, there are no markers capable of predicting osteopenia before it is manifested on DXA. Irisin is a myokine that promotes the differentiation of osteoblastic cells and appears to be inversely correlated with the incidence of bone fragility and fractures in postmenopausal women. The aim of this study was to measure irisin levels in FHA patients and to correlate it with bone density parameters.
Methods: Thirty-two patients with FHA and 19 matched controls underwent the same clinical and laboratory evaluation.
Results: Irisin and body mass index (BMI) were significantly lower in the case group than in healthy controls (2.03 ± 0.12 vs. 2.42 ± 0.09 p < 0.05 and 19.43 ± 2.26 vs. 22.72 ± 0.67 p < 0.05, respectively). Additionally, total body mass density (BMD g/cm2) was significantly lower in the case group than in the healthy controls (1.09 ± 0.08 vs. 1.14 ± 0.05, p < 0.05), without signs of osteopenia.
Conclusions: The FHA group showed lower irisin levels associated with significantly reduced BMD parameters that did not reach the severity of osteopenia. Therefore, we could speculate that irisin could predict DXA results in assessing modifications of body composition parameters. Future research is warranted to study these parameters in a larger population to confirm our results, so that irisin could be used as a predictor and screening method for bone deprivation. Furthermore, irisin is strictly related to energy metabolism and could be an indirect marker of nutritional status in FHA patients, identifying earlier states of energy deficit.
Keywords: Amenorrhea; Body composition; Bone diseases; Energy metabolism; Osteoporosis.