Cardiovascular Diseases & Diagnosis

ISSN: 2329-9517

Open Access

Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Severity


Ana Cristina L Albricker, Claudia A Couto, Maria Carmo P Nunes, Tâmara O Reis, Maria Luiza RP Lima, Paula Vieira T Vidigal, Clara G Camelo and Teresa Cristina A Ferrari

Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has reached epidemic proportions in the last decade, and it is related to high cardiovascular mortality. This disorder encompasses a spectrum of increasingly severe clinicopathological conditions, i.e. nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with or without fibrosis/cirrhosis. Mortality associated with NAFLD is significantly higher in patients with the more advanced stages of this condition and is chiefly due to concomitant cardiovascular disease. The association between NAFLD severity and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) is controversial.

Objective: To investigate the association between CIMT and the clinical forms of NAFLD.

Methods: The study included 34 adult patients with NAFL, 20 with NASH, and 26 asymptomatic controls without the MS and/or NAFLD. The clinical and metabolic characteristics as well as CIMT values, measured using a fully automated ultrasound system, were compared between the NAFL and NASH groups. CIMT of the NAFLD patients were also compared to those of the control group.

Results: The proportion of patients with athermanous plaque was significantly higher in the NAFLD group in comparison to the controls. Internal carotid artery CIMT and the combined measurement in the right side (common carotid artery, carotid bifurcation and internal carotid) were higher in the NAFL group when compared to the NASH patients. No other significant differences were found between CIMT values of the NAFL and NASH groups. After adjustment for clinical, demographic, and laboratorial variables, age was the main determinant of CIMT.

Conclusions: No clinically significant association was observed between CIMT of the patients with NAFL and NASH. Age was the main determinant of CIMT.


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