Obesity-related non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and TGF-beta1 serum levels in relation to morbid obesity
Annals of Hepatology
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can vary from mild hepatic inflammation and steatosis to cirrhosis, and is most frequently associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and the female gender. The prevalence of fatty liver and NASH in the general population is 20% and 3%, respectively. In Western countries, 15-20% of the population is obese and 74-90% of them exhibit fatty changes in liver biopsies. We assessed the prevalence of NASH in morbidly obese patients and
... d serum TGF-beta1 concentrations in different stages of liver fibrosis. Thirty-five obese patients were evaluated, nine male and 26 female. Their mean body mass index (BMI) was 43.62 +/- 7.92 kg/m2. Liver biopsies were evaluated by light microscopy; graded and staged according to Brunt's system. Serum obtained from patients was used to detect TGF-beta1 concentrations by an ELISA method. Serum alanine transaminase (ALT) levels were elevated in four of the patients and the mean level was 49.98 +/- 94.7 (8-65 IU/L). NASH was diagnosed in 32 (91%) of the biopsies, and the most common pattern seen was mixed, predominantly macrovesicular steatosis. Some degree of fibrosis was seen in 34 (97%) of the biopsies and 22 (63%) were at stage 2 (range 1-3). Serum concentrations of TGF-beta1 had no relationship with the stages of fibrosis. In conclusion, NASH and fibrosis are common in our obese patients, as observed in other studies. TGF-beta1 may play a key role in liver fibrogenesis.