Evaluation of atherosclerotic findings in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Afshin Mohammadi1, Ali Bazazi2, Mohammad Ghasemi-rad2
1Department of Radiology, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, West-Azerbaijan, Iran; 2Student Research Committee, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, West-Azerbaijan, Iran
Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: 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.
Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, carotid intima media thickness, risk factor
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