Abdominal ultrasonography is useful for the detection and diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aims of this study were to establish a predictive model for the selection of subjects for abdominal ultrasonography for the diagnosis of NAFLD and to assess validity of the model.
The subjects included 901 people who visited the health examination center of the Busan Medical Center. We conducted multiple logistic regression analyses of potential risk factors to identify independent risk factors for NAFLD, and developed an index system.
Four independent risk factors were identified. The index system was developed by assigning 1 clinical scoring point to approximately 0.7 logistic regression coefficients to each factor as follows: alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase ratio >1.5 (odds ratio [OR], 2.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-4.07; P=0.010), 1 point; γ-glutamyl transpeptidase >50 (OR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.13-4.07; P=0.019), 1 point; triglyceride >150 mg/dL (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.14-3.24; P=0.015), 1 point; 23 kg/m2≤BMI<25 kg/m2 (OR, 3.68; 95% CI, 2.05-6.63; P<0.001), 2 points; and BMI 25 kg/m2 (OR, 7.65; 95% CI, 4.29-13.62; P<0.001), 3 points. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was 0.797 (95% CI, 0.751-0.842), and when 3 points was used as a cut-off value, the sensitivity and specificity were 71.7% and 75.9%, respectively.
NAFLD can be predicted through the clinical application of the index system established herein. If abdominal ultrasonography is used for high-risk patients, NAFLD will be diagnosed and managed in its early stage.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Diagnosis; Ultrasonography
The prevalence and factors associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are largely unknown in HIV-1 monoinfected patients.
The present study elucidated the prevalence and factors associated with NAFLD among Asian patients with HIV-1 infection who underwent abdominal ultrasonography between January 2004 and March 2013. Diagnosis of NAFLD was based on the liver to kidney contrast and diffusion in hepatic echogenicity. Uni- and multi-variate logistic regression analyses were applied to estimate factors associated with NAFLD.
435 Asian patients free of chronic hepatitis B or C virus infection and without excessive alcohol intake were analyzed. NAFLD was diagnosed in 135 (31%) patients. Obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2) was evident in 18 (4.1%) patients, and BMI was >25 kg/m2 in 103 (24%). Multivariate analysis identified higher BMI (per 1 kg/m2 increment, adjusted OR = 1.198; 95% CI, 1.112–1.290; p<0.001), dyslipidemia (adjusted OR = 2.045; 95% CI, 1.183–3.538; p = 0.010), and higher ALT to AST ratio (per 1 increment, adjusted OR = 3.557; 95% CI, 2.129–5.941; p<0.001) as significant factors associated with NAFLD. No HIV-specific variables, including treatment with dideoxynucleoside analogues (didanosine, stavudine, and zalcitabine) and cumulative duration of antiretroviral therapy (ART), were associated with NAFLD.
The incidence of NALFD among Asian patients with HIV-1 infection is similar to that in Western countries. NAFLD was associated with high BMI, dyslipidemia, and high ALT/AST ratio, but not with HIV-related factors. The results highlight the importance of early recognition and management of NAFLD and traditional factors associated with NAFLD for Asian patients with HIV-1 infection.
There is evidence that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. In this study we examined factors associated with the presence of NAFLD and the prevalence of macroangiopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Subjects were 101 consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes: 72 with NAFLD and 29 free of NAFLD. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasonography. Serum lipids were measured enzymatically and glycated hemoglobin HbA1c was measured by HPLC.
The mean age of patients was 53.1±10.4 in the NAFLD group and 44.9±10.9 years in patients without NAFLD (p<0.001). The mean duration of diabetes was 10±6.3 years in patients with NAFLD and 15.1±7.8 years in those without NAFLD (p<0.001). Mean values of glycated hemoglobin A1c were similar in both groups. Patients with NAFLD were characterized by a significantly higher prevalence of coronary angioplasty (20.8% vs. 0%, p=0.008). Overweight and obesity were observed in a higher percentage of patients with NAFLD (p<0.001). Patients with NAFLD were characterized by significantly higher values of alanine transaminase (p=0.033), and lower serum concentrations of HDL-cholesterol (p<0.001) and creatinine (p=0.034). Logistic regression analysis (p<0.001) revealed that NAFLD was positively associated with waist circumference above normal (women >80 cm, men >94 cm) (p=0.0083) and alanine transaminase activity (p=0.0164), and negatively with creatinine concentration (p=0.0226). In a second logistic regression model (p<0.001), waist circumference (p<0.007) and total cholesterol (p<0.008) were positive predictors, while HDL-C (p<0.003) was a negative predictor of NAFLD.
The results of the study suggest that NAFLD is associated with visceral obesity and low HDL-cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.
fatty liver disease; diabetes type 2; diabetic macroangiopathy; obesity
Evidence suggests that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). In this study we aimed to evaluate whether the severity of liver fibrosis estimated by NAFLD fibrosis score is associated with higher prevalence of CKD in individuals with NAFLD. To this end NAFLD fibrosis score and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were assessed in 570 White individuals with ultrasonography-diagnosed NAFLD. As compared with subjects at low probability of liver fibrosis, individuals at high and intermediate probability showed an unfavorable cardio-metabolic risk profile having significantly higher values of waist circumference, insulin resistance, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, uric acid and lower insulin-like growth factor-1 levels. Individuals at high and intermediate probability of liver fibrosis have lower eGFR after adjustment for gender, smoking, glucose tolerance status, homeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR index), diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, statin therapy, anti-diabetes and anti-hypertensive treatments (P = 0.001). Individuals at high probability of liver fibrosis had a 5.1-fold increased risk of having CKD (OR 5.13, 95%CI 1.13–23.28; P = 0.03) as compared with individuals at low probability after adjustment for age, gender, and BMI. After adjustment for glucose tolerance status, statin therapy, and anti-hypertensive treatment in addition to gender, individuals at high probability of liver fibrosis had a 3.9-fold increased risk of CKD (OR 3.94, 95%CI 1.11–14.05; P = 0.03) as compared with individuals at low probability. In conclusion, advanced liver fibrosis, determined by noninvasive fibrosis markers, is associated with CKD independently from other known factors.
The aim of this study was to assess the association between insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in Chinese adults.
Fifty five subjects with NAFLD and 55 controls were enrolled for the study. Waist circumference, blood pressure, plasma triglyceride, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and fasting plasma glucose concentrations and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values as an index used to quantify insulin resistance were measured and analyzed. Logistic regression was analyzed to predict independent risk factors of NAFLD.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in NAFLD group was obviously higher than in controls group (47.3% VS 3.6%, P<0.001). There were all significant differences of each component of metabolic syndrome and HOMA-IR values in comparison of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and controls group. In a logistic regression analysis, age, diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference and HOMA-IR were the covariates independently associated with the presence of NAFLD (Odds Ratio=1.107, 1.083, 1.218 and 16.836; 95% CI: 1.011∼1.211, 1.001∼1.173, 1.083∼1.370 and 3.626∼78.168, respectively; P<0.05)
NAFLD was closely associated with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance was a very strong predictor of NAFLD.
Insulin Resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; China
AIM: To clarify the relationship between age, menopause, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in women.
METHODS: We conducted a follow-up study on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by using abdominal ultrasonography, and investigated the relationship of age and menopause with the development of NAFLD in women. We followed 1829 women and 2572 men (response rate, 86%) selected in 2001 to represent the non-institutionalized adult population of Gifu, Japan. Data collected included self-reported medical history, lifestyle factors, and menopausal status. The postmenopausal state was defined as beginning 1 year after the cessation of menses. We diagnosed NAFLD with the aid of abdominal ultrasonography by using diagnostic criteria described previously.
RESULTS: The prevalence of NAFLD in women increases with age, but does not alter with age in men. Furthermore, the prevalence of NAFLD in premenopausal women (6%) was lower than that in men (24%) and in postmenopausal women (15%). The associations of the postmenopausal state and hormone replacement therapy with NAFLD were statistically significant in a univariate logistic regression model. At the follow-up examination, 67 women (5%) were newly diagnosed with NAFLD. The incidence of NAFLD was 3.5% (28/802) in premenopausal women, 7.5% (4/53) in menopausal women, 6.1% (24/392) in postmenopausal women, and 5.3% (11/206) in women receiving hormone replacement therapy. The weight gain in premenopausal women was equal to that in postmenopausal women. Metabolic syndrome and weight gain were independent risk factors for NAFLD in pre- and postmenopausal women, but age was an independent risk factor in premenopausal women only.
CONCLUSION: Aging is a risk factor for NAFLD in premenopausal women, independent of weight gain or influence of metabolic syndrome.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Cardiovascular disease; Risk factor; Steatohepatitis; Postmenopausal women
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a highly prevalent condition, is a feature of metabolic syndrome and is characterized by excessive accumulation of fat in the liver cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between NAFLD and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) as an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis.
We examined 250 consecutive patients with ultrasonographically confirmed NAFLD and 85 age-matched and gender-matched controls with normal parenchymal liver echogenicity for determination of CIMT and presence of carotid atherosclerotic plaque.
Compared with control subjects, patients with NAFLD showed an increased mean CIMT (0.81 ± 0.14 mm) compared with control subjects (0.58 ± 0.15 mm). This difference was statistically significant (P = 0.001). After performing multivariate analysis, the presence of NAFLD was associated with abnormal CIMT independent of other atherogenic risk factors or its association with metabolic syndrome.
NAFLD can be an independent risk factor for developing atherosclerosis. Therefore, NAFLD with and without metabolic syndrome can be associated with increased CIMT and increased risk of cardiovascular events in patients with NAFLD incidentally diagnosed on abdominal ultrasonography.
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; metabolic syndrome; atherosclerosis; carotid intima media thickness; risk factor
Visceral fat has been reported to be associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS). We assessed the prevalence of both NAFLD and the MetS, measured visceral fat thickness (VFT), and estimated the physical activity indexes of 224 relatively healthy hospital workers. We also investigated the associations between both VFT and physical activity index and each of NAFLD and the MetS. The MetS was diagnosed according to the guidelines outlined by the Adult Treatment Panel III, and NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasonography. Subjects with hepatitis B and C infections and those reporting moderate alcohol consumption were excluded from the study. The prevalence of the MetS was 11.6% and that of NAFLD was 41.5%. Many subjects with the MetS had NAFLD (73.1%), and some subjects with NAFLD (20.4%) also had several components of the MetS (p=0.001). VFT was significantly increased by both the addition of components of the MetS and the severity of NAFLD (p<0.001). In addition, VFT was independently associated with NAFLD (odds ratio [OR], 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.19) in subjects with more than 2 components of the MetS. In contrast, habitual physical activity was reversely associated with NAFLD (OR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.10-0.87). In conclusion, an increased visceral fat content and reduced physical activity could be not only biological markers but also therapeutic targets in the treatment of NAFLD and the MetS.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Metabolic Syndrome; Intra-Abdominal Fat; Work Index
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) both are known to be associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (MS). The aim of the study was to determine the presence of NAFLD and associated factors of hepatic steatosis in women with PCOS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cross-sectional hospital based study of 54 women with PCOS and 55 healthy controls who were age and weight matched were included. Anthropometric parameters, biochemical and hormonal investigations were done in all the patients. Insulin resistance was calculated by Homeostasis model assessment (HOMA). Abdominal ultrasonography and biochemical tests were used to determine the presence of hepatic steatosis after excluding other causes liver disease.
Women with PCOS had a higher prevalence of hepatic steatosis (67% vs 25%, P = 0.001) MS (35% vs. 7%, P < 0.01) and elevated transaminases (31% vs. 7%, P = 0.03) than controls. All patients with PCOS and controls with MS had presence of hepatic steatosis. Age, BMI, waist-hip ratio, HOMA-IR, HDL and PCOS diagnosis were the factors associated with presence of hepatic steatosis.
NAFLD is commonly present in women with PCOS in combination with other metabolic derangements. Evaluation for liver disease should be considered at an earlier age in women with PCOS, particularly those who have an evidence of MS.
Insulin resistance; metabolic syndrome; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; polycystic ovary syndrome
Objective. To investigate the anthropometric indicators that can effectively predict the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods. The height, body weight, waist and hip circumference were measured, and body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height (WHtR) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. M-H chi square test, logistic regression analysis, and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve were employed for the analysis of risk factors. Patients or Materials. 490 patients were recruited, of whom 250 were diagnosed as NAFLD and 240 as non-NAFLD (control group). Results. Compared with the control group, the BMI, WHR, and WHtR were significantly higher in patients with NAFLD. Logistic regression analysis showed that BMI and WHR were effective prognostic factors of NAFLD. In addition, WHR plays a more important role in prediction of NAFLD by the area under curve. Conclusion. WHR is closely related to the occurrence of NAFLD. We assume that WHR is beneficial for the diagnosis NAFLD.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes hepatic steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in the United States and worldwide. Due to the rapid rise of the metabolic syndrome, the prevalence of NAFLD has recently dramatically increased and will continue to increase. NAFLD has also the potential to progress to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver failure. NAFLD is strongly linked to caloric overconsumption, physical inactivity, insulin resistance and genetic factors. Although significant progress in understanding the pathogenesis of NAFLD has been achieved in years, the primary metabolic abnormalities leading to lipid accumulation within hepatocytes has remained poorly understood. Mitochondria are critical metabolic organelles serving as “cellular power plants”. Accumulating evidence indicate that hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction is crucial to the pathogenesis of NAFLD. This review is focused on the significant role of mitochondria in the development of NAFLD.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Mitochondria; Fatty acid oxidation; Liver
Background. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the metabolic disorders presented in liver. The relationship between severity of NAFLD and coronary atherosclerotic burden remains largely unknown. Methods and Materials. We analyzed subjects undergoing coronary calcium score evaluation by computed tomography (MDCT) and fatty liver assessment using abdominal ultrasonography. Framingham risk score (FRS) and metabolic risk score (MRS) were obtained in all subjects. A graded, semiquantitative score was established to quantify the severity of NAFLD. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to depict the association between NAFLD and calcium score. Results. Of all, 342 participants (female: 22.5%, mean age: 48.7 ± 7.0 years) met the sufficient information rendering detailed analysis. The severity of NAFLD was positively associated with MRS (X2 = 6.12, trend P < 0.001) and FRS (X2 = 5.88, trend P < 0.001). After multivariable adjustment for clinical variables and life styles, the existence of moderate to severe NAFLD was independently associated with abnormal calcium score (P < 0.05). Conclusion. The severity of NAFLD correlated well with metabolic abnormality and was independently predict coronary calcification beyond clinical factors. Our data suggests that NAFLD based on ultrasonogram could positively reflect the burden of coronary calcification.
To describe the prevalence and factors associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among HIV-infected persons not infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).
A cross-sectional study among HIV-infected patients in a large HIV clinic.
NAFLD was defined as steatosis among patients without viral hepatitis (B or C) co-infection or excessive alcohol use. The prevalence of NAFLD was identified by ultrasound examination evaluated by two radiologists blinded to the clinic information; liver biopsies were performed on a subset of the study population. Factors associated with NAFLD evaluated by proportional odds logistic regression models.
Sixty-seven (31%) of 216 patients had NAFLD based on ultrasound evaluation. Among those with NAFLD, steatosis was graded as mild in 60%, moderate in 28%, and severe/ marked in 12%. Factors associated with the degree of steatosis on ultrasound examination in the multivariate model included increased waist circumference (odds ratio [OR] 2.1 per 10 cm, p<0.001), elevated triglycerides (OR= 1.2 per 100 mg/dl, p=0.03), and lower HDL levels (OR 0.7, p=0.03). African Americans were less likely to have NAFLD compared to Caucasians (14% vs. 35%), although this did not reach statistical significance (OR= 0.4, p=0.08). Similar associations were noted for the subset of patients diagnosed by liver biopsy. CD4 cell count, HIV viral load, duration of HIV infection, and antiretroviral medications were not independent risk factors associated with NAFLD after adjustment for dyslipidemia or waist circumference.
NAFLD was common among this cohort of HIV-infected, HCV-seronegative patients. NAFLD was associated with a greater waist circumference, low HDL and high triglyceride levels. Antiretroviral medications were not associated with NAFLD; prospective studies are needed to confirm this finding.
HIV; NAFLD; steatosis; liver disease; antiretroviral medication
The effect of active smoking on development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is controversial, and there are limited clinical data on the relationship between passive smoking and NAFLD. We investigated whether active and passive smoking are associated with NAFLD.
A total of 8580 subjects (2691 men) aged 40 years or older participated in a community-based survey in Shanghai, China. Information on active and passive smoking was collected using a validated questionnaire. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal B-mode ultrasound testing and serum liver enzymes.
NAFLD prevalence was 29.4% in never smokers, 34.2% in former smokers, 27.8% in light smokers (<20 cigarettes/day), 30.8% in moderate smokers (20–39 cigarettes/day), and 43.5% in heavy smokers (≥40 cigarettes/day). Fully adjusted logistic regression analyses revealed that, as compared with never smoking, former and heavy smoking were associated with increased risk of prevalent NAFLD, with odds ratios of 1.45 (95% CI 1.05–2.00) and 2.29 (95% CI 1.30–4.03), respectively. Active smoking and body mass index (BMI) had a synergistic effect on the risk of prevalent NAFLD; the combination of these risk factors was associated with the highest observed odds ratio for NAFLD: 8.58. In never-smoking women, passive smoking during both childhood and adulthood was associated with a 25% increase in the risk of prevalent NAFLD (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.05–1.50) as compared with no passive smoking.
Passive smoking and heavy active smoking are associated with prevalent NAFLD in middle-aged and elderly Chinese. Active smoking and BMI have a synergistic effect on prevalent NAFLD.
active tobacco smoking; passive tobacco smoking; fatty liver
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is prevalent in people with the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes and is present in up to one-third of the general population. Evidence is now accumulating that NAFLD is associated with obesity and diabetes and may serve as a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The possible mechanisms linking NAFLD and CVD include inflammation and oxidative stress, hyperlipidaemia, insulin resistance, and direct impact of NAFLD on coronary arteries and left ventricular dysfunction. In addition, several studies suggest that NAFLD is associated with high risk of CVD and atherosclerosis such as carotid artery wall thickness and lower endothelial flow-mediated vasodilation independently of classical risk factors and components of the metabolic syndrome. It is not yet clear how treatment of NAFLD will modulate the risk of CVD. Furthermore, studies are urgently needed to establish (i) the pathophysiology of CVD with NAFLD and (ii) the benefit of early diagnosis and treatment of CVD in patients with NAFLD. In the absence of biochemical markers, it is crucial that screening and surveillance strategies are adopted in clinical practice in the growing number of patients with NAFLD and at risk of developing CVD. Importantly, the current evidence suggest that statins are safe and effective treatment for CVD in individuals with NAFLD.
Waist circumference (WC) is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome and is related to insulin resistance (IR) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The purpose of this study was to determine the association between WC and IR and NAFLD in apparently healthy Korean adults.
The volunteers included in this cross-sectional study comprised 9,159 adults (5,052 men, 4,107 women) who participated in a comprehensive health checkup program. IR was evaluated by the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) and was considered to be present when the HOMA-IR score was >2. NAFLD was evaluated by ultrasound examination. Elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was defined as >40 IU/L in men and >35 IU/L in women. Logistic regression was performed to determine the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for NAFLD, IR, and ALT according to categorized levels of WC.
NAFLD was found in 2,553 (27.9%) of the participants (82.6% men, 17.4% women), while IR and elevated ALT were found in 17.2% (68.1% men, 31.9% women) and 10% (83% men, 17% women), respectively. After adjusting for confounding factors, the prevalence of NAFLD, IR, and elevated ALT was significantly associated with increases in WC quartile: highest quartile for NAFLD in men, OR=15.539, 95% CI=12.687-19.033; highest quartile for NAFLD in women, OR=48.732, 95% CI=23.918-99.288 (P<0.001); and highest quartile for IR in men, OR=17.576, 95% CI=13.283-23.255; highest quartile for IR in women, OR=11.078, 95% CI=7.813-15.708 (P<0.001); highest quartile for elevated ALT in men, OR=7.952, 95% CI=6.046-10.459; and highest quartile for elevated ALT in women, OR=8.487, 95% CI=4.679-15.395 (P<0.001).
WC contributes to IR and NAFLD in apparently healthy Korean adults, and thus may be an important factor in the development of IR and NAFLD.
Waist circumference; Insulin resistance; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Serum bilirubin may have potent antioxidant and cytoprotective effects. Serum bilirubin levels are inversely associated with several cardiovascular and metabolic endpoints, but their association with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has not been investigated except for a single cross-sectional study in a pediatric population. We assessed the prospective association between serum bilirubin concentrations (total, direct, and indirect) and the risk for NAFLD.
Methods and Findings
We performed a cohort study in 5,900 Korean men, 30 to 59 years of age, with no evidence of liver disease and no major risk factors for liver disease at baseline. Study participants were followed in annual or biennial health examinations between 2002 and 2009. The presence of fatty liver was determined at each visit by ultrasonography. We observed 1,938 incident cases of NAFLD during 28,101.8 person-years of follow-up. Increasing levels of serum direct bilirubin were progressively associated with a decreasing incidence of NAFLD. In age-adjusted models, the hazard ratio for NAFLD comparing the highest to the lowest quartile of serum direct bilirubin levels was 0.61 (95% CI 0.54–0.68). The association persisted after adjusting for multiple metabolic parameters (hazard ratio comparing the highest to the lowest quartile 0.86, 95% CI 0.76–0.98; P trend = 0.039). Neither serum total nor indirect bilirubin levels were significantly associated with the incidence of NAFLD.
In this large prospective study, higher serum direct bilirubin levels were significantly associated with a lower risk of developing NAFLD, even adjusting for a variety of metabolic parameters. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this association and to establish the role of serum direct bilirubin as a marker for NAFLD risk.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of chronic liver disease in children. NAFLD has emerged to be extremely prevalent, and predicted by obesity and male gender. It is defined by hepatic fat infiltration >5% hepatocytes, in the absence of other causes of liver pathology. It includes a spectrum of disease ranging from intrahepatic fat accumulation (steatosis) to various degrees of necrotic inflammation and fibrosis (non-alcoholic steatohepatatis [NASH]). NAFLD is associated, in children as in adults, with severe metabolic impairments, determining an increased risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. It can evolve to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, with the consequent need for liver transplantation. Both genetic and environmental factors seem to be involved in the development and progression of the disease, but its physiopathology is not yet entirely clear. In view of this mounting epidemic phenomenon involving the youth, the study of NAFLD should be a priority for all health care systems. This review provides an overview of current and new clinical-histological concepts of pediatric NAFLD, going through possible implications into patho-physiolocical and therapeutic perspectives.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Non-alcoholic steatohepatatis; Obesity; Metabolic syndrome
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with advanced atherosclerosis and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence suggests that injured endothelial monolayer is regenerated by circulating bone marrow derived-endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), and levels of circulating EPCs reflect vascular repair capacity. However, the relation between NAFLD and EPC remains unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) might have decreased endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) levels and attenuated EPC function.
Methods and Results
A total of 312 consecutive patients undergoing elective coronary angiography because of suspected coronary artery disease were screened and received examinations of abdominal ultrasonography between July 2009 and November 2010. Finally, 34 patients with an ultrasonographic diagnosis of NAFLD, and 68 age- and sex-matched controls without NAFLD were enrolled. Flow cytometry with quantification of EPC markers (defined as CD34+, CD34+KDR+, and CD34+KDR+CD133+) in peripheral blood samples was used to assess circulating EPC numbers. The adhesive function, and migration, and tube formation capacities of EPCs were also determined in NAFLD patients and controls. Patients with NAFLD had a significantly higher incidence of metabolic syndrome, previous myocardial infarction, hyperuricemia, and higher waist circumference, body mass index, fasting glucose and triglyceride levels. In addition, patients with NAFLD had significantly decreased circulating EPC levels (all P<0.05), attenuated EPC functions, and enhanced systemic inflammation compared to controls. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that circulating EPC level (CD34+KDR+ [cells/105 events]) was an independent reverse predictor of NAFLD (Odds ratio: 0.78; 95% confidence interval: 0.69–0.89, P<0.001).
NAFLD patients have decreased circulating EPC numbers and functions than those without NAFLD, which may be one of the mechanisms to explain atherosclerotic disease progression and enhanced cardiovascular risk in patients with NAFLD.
AIM: To ascertain whether carotid lesions are more prevalent in outpatients with incidental findings of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at abdominal ultrasound (US).
METHODS: One hundred and fifty-four consecutive outpatients (age range 24-90 years, both sexes) referred by general practitioners for abdominal US, and drinking less than 20 g alcohol/day, underwent carotid US for an assessment of carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT) and carotid plaque prevalence. Hepatic steatosis, visceral fat thickness and subcutaneous fat thickness were also assessed at ultrasonography.
RESULTS: Higher c-IMT values were found in the presence of NAFLD (90 patients), even after adjustment for indices of general and abdominal obesity and for the principal cardiovascular risk factors (0.84 ± 0.10 mm vs 0.71 ± 0.10 mm, P < 0.001). The prevalence of carotid plaques was 57.8% in the patients with NAFLD vs 37.5% in the patients without this condition (P = 0.02). The adjusted relative risk of having carotid plaques for patients with NAFLD was 1.85 (95% CI: 1.33-2.57, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: An incidental finding of hepatic steatosis may suggest the presence of silent carotid atherosclerotic lesions.
Hepatic steatosis; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Metabolic syndrome; Carotid atherosclerosis; Plaque; Intima-media thickness
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease; there is growing evidence that it is a hepatic manifestation of a metabolic syndrome. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of metabolic risk factors among patients with NAFLD.
Outpatients with NAFLD were recruited into the study. Family physicians recorded patients’ demographic and anthropometric data, leisure-time physical activity, concomitant diseases, and pharmacological treatment for NAFLD into standardized Case Report Forms.
In total, data on 798 patients were analyzed. Most patients were women and they were older than the men (mean age, 60.2±9.6 vs. 54.5±11.4 years; p<0.05). Metabolic risk factors (obesity, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia) were highly prevalent in the study patients, and these factors were more prevalent among women. There were no differences in the mean Body Mass Index (BMI), in the proportion of men or women with BMI >30 kg/m2 or central obesity in the 2 age groups (≤60 years and >60 years). Hypertension and diabetes were more prevalent among older men and women. Dyslipidemia was more common among older women. The level of leisure-time physical activity was lower in women and in older patients. The most frequently prescribed pharmacological agents were cytoprotective agents, lipid-lowering drugs, and antioxidants.
Metabolic risk factors were highly prevalent among patients with NAFLD. Obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were more prevalent among women. The differences in the prevalence of hypertension seemed to be influenced by older age of women.
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); metabolic syndrome; epidemiology; dyslipidemia; NAFLD; cytoprotective drugs
Nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent liver diseases in the Western hemisphere. The rising rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus correlate with the increasing incidence of NAFLD, which is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. Hepatitis C virus infection is another common cause of liver disease worldwide. Up to 70% of patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) will have concomitant steatosis. The presence of NAFLD has been implicated as a cause of lower viral response rates in CHC patients who are treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. This review will focus on the factors that lead to NAFLD in the setting of hepatitis C virus infection, including viral and host factors—in particular, inflammatory mediators, cytokines, and lipid peroxidation. This paper will also discuss the implications of NAFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis regarding fibrosis progression, risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, and limitations with antiviral therapy.
Hepatitis C virus; nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; insulin resistance
AIM: To explore the prevalence and risk factors for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients.
METHODS: We have included 493 patients with sonographic evidence of a fatty change, and 177 of these individuals were evaluated and confirmed after liver biopsy. The exclusion criteria consisted of significant alcohol abuse (< 20 g daily), evidence of hepatitis B and C, evidence of drug-induced fatty liver disease and other specific liver diseases such as hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease or autoimmune liver disease. The patients were assessed for metabolic syndrome, and biochemical, anthropometric and histopathological evaluations were carried out. The degree of disease activity in the NAFLD patients was evaluated using the NAFLD Activity Score. The data were analyzed by SPSS, version 16.0.
RESULTS: Females predominated among the study participants (250, 57.0%), and the mean age was 40.8 ± 10.2 years. The numbers of overweight, obese I and obese II patients were 58 (13.2%), 237 (53.9%) and 93 (21.2%), respectively. However, there were 422 (96.2%) centrally obese patients. NASH was absent in 10 (5.6%) cases, borderline in 92 (52.6%) cases and present in 75 (42.4%) cases. The presence of diabetes could significantly (P = 0.001) differentiate NASH from simple steatosis. The following parameters did not influence the development of NASH: age, sex, basal metabolic index, waist circumference, serum high-density lipoprotein, triglyceride, insulin resistance index, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. The serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) level was significantly higher (P = 0.05, 51.7 ± 32.8 and 40.4 ± 22.6 U/L) in the NASH patients, with a sensitivity of 45% and a specificity of only 68%. The serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were not able to predict NASH.
CONCLUSION: Females were the predominant sufferers of NAFLD in Bangladesh. The prevalence of NASH was high. Diabetes was found to be the main culprit in developing NASH. GGT was the only biochemical marker of NASH. We recommend liver biopsy in NAFLD patients who have diabetes and elevated GGT.
Fatty liver; Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Alanine aminotransferase; Obesity; Basal metabolic index
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common cause of liver disease in children, is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. However, the relationship between NAFLD and cardiovascular risk factors in children is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to determine the association between NAFLD and the presence of metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese children.
Methods and Results
This case-control study of 150 overweight children with biopsy-proven NAFLD and 150 overweight children without NAFLD compared rates of metabolic syndrome using Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Cases and controls were well matched in age, sex, and severity of obesity. Children with NAFLD had significantly higher fasting glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure than overweight and obese children without NAFLD. Subjects with NAFLD also had significantly lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than controls. After adjustment for age, sex, race, ethnicity, body mass index, and hyperinsulinemia, children with metabolic syndrome had 5.0 (95% confidence interval, 2.6 to 9.7) times the odds of having NAFLD as overweight and obese children without metabolic syndrome.
NAFLD in overweight and obese children is strongly associated with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The identification of NAFLD in a child should prompt global counseling to address nutrition, physical activity, and avoidance of smoking to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
blood pressure; lipids; liver; obesity; pediatrics
We aim to determine whether a simple Indian diabetes risk score (IDRS) is associated with individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among nondiabetic Asian Indians.
Nondiabetic participants (n = 409) were selected from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study. Mean age was 40 ± 11.9 years, mean body mass index was 23.2 ± 3.9 kg/m2, and 224 (54.8%) were women. The IDRS was classified as high (≥60), medium (30–50), and low (<30) risk. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was assessed by high-resolution β mode ultrasonography. To determine the factors associated with NAFLD, a univariate analysis was first done and a stepwise logistic regression analysis was done based on the factors associated with NAFLD. Biochemical and anthropometric measurements were obtained using standardized procedures.
The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 24.7% (101/409 participants), and it was significantly higher among those with a high (30.4%) and medium IDRS (21%) compared with the low IDRS group (15.8%; trend chi square; p = .022). In stepwise logistic regression, IDRS was associated with NAFLD with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.78 (95% confidence interval 1.04–3.06), even after adjusting for potential confounders.
The IDRS can be used as the initial step to screen individuals at high risk of NAFLD in the community.
Asian Indians; diabetes; Indian diabetes risk score; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; screening; South Asians