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Abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance as simple predictors of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Authors Hegazy MA, Samy MA, Tawfik A, Naguib MM, Ezzat A, Behiry ME

Received 21 January 2019

Accepted for publication 22 May 2019

Published 11 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1105—1111


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Mona A Hegazy,1 Maysa A Samy,2 Afaf Tawfik,2 Mervat M Naguib,1 Ahmed Ezzat,1 Mervat E Behiry1

1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 2National Nutrition Institute, Cairo, Egypt

Background: Obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes are major risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study aims to evaluate the association between different grades of NAFLD and abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness with the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
Methods: In this pilot study, 59 obese nondiabetic participants with NAFLD were enrolled. Total cholesterol, HbA1c, and HOMA-IR were measured. Abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness in the midline just below the xiphoid process in front of the left lobe of the liver (LSFT) and in the umbilical region (USFT), and the degree of hepatic steatosis, were evaluated by ultrasound scans, and their correlation with the degree of steatosis and the NAFLD Activity Score in liver biopsy was assessed.
Results: Of the 59 studied participants, 15 had mild, 17 had moderate, and 27 had severe hepatic steatosis by abdominal ultrasound. Themean ± SD HOMA-IR level in NAFLD patients was 5.41±2.70. The severity of hepatic steatosis positively correlated with body mass index (P<0.001), HOMA-IR (P<0.001), serum triglycerides (P=0.001), LSFT (P<0.001), and USFT (P<0.001). Receiver operating characteristics analysis showed that LSFT at a cut-off of 3.45 cm is the most accurate predictor of severe hepatic steatosis, with 74.1% sensitivity and 84.4% specificity. The best cut-off of USFT for identifying severe hepatic steatosis is 4.55 cm, with 63% sensitivity and 81.3% specificity.
Conclusion: Abdominal subcutaneous fat thicknesses in front of the left lobe of the liver and in the umbilical region, together with HOMA-IR, are reliable indicators of the severity of NAFLD in obese nondiabetic individuals.

Keywords: hepatic steatosis, abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness, insulin resistance, obesity

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