Association between body size-metabolic phenotype and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and significant fibrosis

Donghee Kim, Won Kim, Sae Kyung Joo, Jimin Han, Jung Ho Kim, Stephen A. Harrison, Zobair M. Younossi, Aijaz Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and aims: Body size-metabolic phenotype may help predict whether or not individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) develop advanced liver disease. We studied the association of body size-metabolic phenotype with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and significant fibrosis. Methods: Our cross-sectional study included 559 subjects (mean age of 53 years; women 51%) with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Clinical, genetic, and histological characteristic features of NAFLD were evaluated. The metabolically unhealthy phenotype was defined by the presence of two or more metabolic components, while body size was categorized based on body mass index: obese (≥ 25 kg/m2) or non-obese (< 25 kg/m2). Body size-metabolic phenotypes were divided into four study groups: (1) non-obese metabolic syndrome (MS)−, (2) non-obese MS+ , (3) obese MS−, and (4) obese MS+. Results: Obese MS− and non-obese MS+ groups demonstrated comparable levels of insulin resistance, adipose tissue insulin resistance indexes, and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) areas. The VAT area was significantly higher in the obese MS+ group versus obese MS− group. However, the VAT to subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) ratio was highest in the non-obese MS+ group. There was no difference in histology between the non-obese MS+, obese MS−, and obese MS+ groups. Multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, smoking status, PNPLA3, TM6SF2, and VAT/SAT areas demonstrated an independent and dose-dependent relationship between the body size-metabolic phenotype and NASH or significant fibrosis. Conclusion: The non-obese MS+ group displayed similar degree of hepatic histological severity compared to their obese MS− counterparts. Metabolic milieu beyond obesity may play a pathogenic role in non-obese MS+ individuals who develop NASH with significant hepatic fibrosis. Clinical trial number: NCT 02206841.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-341
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

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Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Non-obese

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