Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Significant Hepatic Fibrosis Defined by Non-invasive Assessment in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

  • Sobhonslidsuk, Abhasnee (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University) ;
  • Pulsombat, Akharawit (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University) ;
  • Kaewdoung, Piyaporn (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University) ;
  • Petraksa, Supanna (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University)
  • Published : 2015.03.18


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common liver problem in diabetes, is a risk factor for liver cancer. Diabetes, high body mass index (BMI) and old age can all contribute to NAFLD progression. Transient elastography (TE) is used for non-invasive fibrosis assessment. Objectives: To identify the prevalence of NAFLD and significant hepatic fibrosis in diabetic patients and to assess associated factors. Materials and Methods: One hundred and forty-one diabetic and 60 normal subjects were screened. Fatty liver was diagnosed when increased hepatic echogenicity and vascular blunting were detected by ultrasonography. Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) representing hepatic fibrosis was assessed by TE. LSM ${\geq}7$ kPa was used to define significant hepatic fibrosis. Results: Four cases were excluded due to positive hepatitis B viral markers and failed TE. Diabetic patients had higher BMI, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference and fasting glucose levels than normal subjects. Fatty liver was diagnosed in 82 (60.7%) diabetic patients but in none of the normal group. BMI (OR: 1.31; 95%CI: 1.02-1.69; p=0.038) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT)(OR: 1.14; 95%CI: 1.05-1.23; p=0.002) were associated with NAFLD. Diabetic patients with NAFLD had higher LSM than those without [5.99 (2.4) vs 4.76 (2.7) kPa, p=0.005)]. Significant hepatic fibrosis was more common in diabetic patients than in normal subjects [22 (16.1%) vs 1 (1.7%), p=0.002]. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)(OR: 1.24; 95%CI: 1.07-1.42; p=0.003) was associated with significant hepatic fibrosis. Conclusions: Sixty and sixteen percent of diabetic patients were found to have NAFLD and significant hepatic fibrosis. High BMI and ALT levels are the predictors of NAFLD, and elevated AST level is associated with significant hepatic fibrosis.


Diabetes;Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD);hepatic fibrosis;transient elastography


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