Carotid lesions in outpatients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Ramilli, Stefano; Pretolani, Stefano; Muscari, Antonio; Pacelli, Barbara; Arienti, Vincenzo; Keeffe, Emmet B.
October 2009
World Journal of Gastroenterology;10/14/2009, Vol. 15 Issue 38, p4770
Academic Journal
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.


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