48 research outputs found

    Liver fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients: noninvasive evaluation and correlation with cardiovascular disease and mortality

    No full text
    Liver fibrosis is critical for liver-related outcomes and mortality in chronic liver disease, irrespective of etiology, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD has been viewed as an independent correlate of cardiovascular risk. This review article briefly describes the cellular and molecular pathomechanisms underlying hepatic fibrosis. We then address noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis. Finally, we discuss published evidence supporting fibrosis biomarkers’ role in assessing cardiovascular risk among patients with NAFLD. While histological assessment is the diagnostic standard of hepatic fibrosis, we specifically address noninvasive techniques, including equations based on anthropometric parameters, laboratory indices, and elastometry obtained with imaging techniques. The former group includes AST: ALT ratio, the Forns Index, the AST-to-platelet ratio index score, BARD (BMI, AAR, Diabetes) score, the fibrosis-4 index (FIB-4), the NAFLD fibrosis score, the gamma-glutamyl transferase-to-platelet ratio, and the Hepamet fibrosis score. The latter comprises elastographic techniques associated with ultrasonography or magnetic resonance. Our literature review identified numerous studies demonstrating that biomarkers of fibrosis (the most common being FIB-4) and elastographic techniques predict overall mortality and major cardiovascular events among NAFLD patients. The mechanisms accounting for this association are briefly reviewed. In addition to assessing hepatic fibrosis at baseline, during follow-up, and after therapeutic interventions in NAFLD patients, noninvasive assessment of hepatic fibrosis may predict cardiovascular events and overall mortality in these patients

    Clinical and dopaminergic imaging characteristics of the FARPRESTO cohort of trial-ready idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior patients

    Get PDF
    Introduction: Idiopathic/isolated rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) is considered the prodromal stage of alpha-synucleinopathies. Thus, iRBD patients are the ideal target for disease-modifying therapy. The risk FActoRs PREdictive of phenoconversion in iRBD Italian STudy (FARPRESTO) is an ongoing Italian database aimed at identifying risk factors of phenoconversion, and eventually to ease clinical trial enrollment of well-characterized subjects.Methods: Polysomnography-confirmed iRBD patients were retrospectively and prospectively enrolled. Baseline harmonized clinical and nigrostriatal functioning data were collected at baseline. Nigrostriatal functioning was evaluated by dopamine transporter-single-photon emission computed tomography (DaT-SPECT) and categorized with visual semi-quantification. Longitudinal data were evaluated to assess phenoconversion. Cox regressions were applied to calculate hazard ratios.Results: 365 patients were enrolled, and 289 patients with follow-up (age 67.7 & PLUSMN; 7.3 years, 237 males, mean follow-up 40 & PLUSMN; 37 months) were included in this study. At follow-up, 97 iRBD patients (33.6%) phenoconverted to an overt synucleinopathy. Older age, motor and cognitive impairment, constipation, urinary and sexual dysfunction, depression, and visual semi-quantification of nigrostriatal functioning predicted phenoconversion. The remaining 268 patients are in follow-up within the FARPRESTO project.Conclusions: Clinical data (older age, motor and cognitive impairment, constipation, urinary and sexual dysfunction, depression) predicted phenoconversion in this multicenter, longitudinal, observational study. A standardized visual approach for semi-quantification of DaT-SPECT is proposed as a practical risk factor for phenoconversion in iRBD patients. Of note, non-converted and newly diagnosed iRBD patients, who represent a trial-ready cohort for upcoming disease-modification trials, are currently being enrolled and followed in the FARPRESTO study. New data are expected to allow better risk characterization

    Liver Fibrosis Biomarkers Accurately Exclude Advanced Fibrosis and Are Associated with Higher Cardiovascular Risk Scores in Patients with NAFLD or Viral Chronic Liver Disease

    No full text
    Liver fibrosis predicts liver-related and cardiovascular outcomes in chronic liver disease patients. We compared the diagnostic performance of various liver fibrosis biomarkers for identifying histological significant/advanced fibrosis. Additionally, the correlations of such liver fibrosis biomarkers with cardiovascular risk (CVR) scores were evaluated. 173 patients with viral hepatitis (157 HCV and 16 HBV) and 107 with a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were consecutively enrolled. Various liver fibrosis biomarkers: aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio (ARR), AST to Platelet Ratio Index (APRI), Fibrosis-4 (FiB-4), Forns index, NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), BARD (body mass index (BMI), AAR, Diabetes) score, and Hepamet fibrosis score (HFS), were used to identify significant/advanced fibrosis. CVR was assessed by using the SCORE, the Progetto CUORE, or the Framingham risk scoring systems. Liver fibrosis biomarkers performed better in predicting advanced rather than significant liver fibrosis in all patients, regardless of chronic liver disease aetiology. Forns index and HFS performed best in predicting advanced fibrosis in patients with viral chronic liver disease and NAFLD. Lower cut-offs of these liver fibrosis biomarkers had high negative predictive values for advanced fibrosis overall, as well as in patients with NAFLD or viral chronic liver disease. FIB-4, Forns index, NFS, and HFS were positively correlated with SCORE and Framingham risk scores. In conclusion, liver fibrosis biomarkers accurately exclude advanced fibrosis and positively correlate with CVR scores in patients with chronic liver disease

    A round trip from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to diabetes: molecular targets to the rescue?

    No full text
    Evidence suggests a close relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type two diabetes (T2D). On the grounds of prevalence of disease, both conditions account for a significant financial cost for health care systems and individuals. Aim of this review article is to explore the epidemiological basis and the putative molecular mechanisms underlying the association of NAFLD with T2D. Epidemiological studies have shown that NAFLD is associated to the development of incident T2D and either reversal or improvement of NAFLD will result into decreased risk of developing incident T2D. On the other side of the coin data have shown that T2D will worsen the course of NAFLD doubling the risk of disease progression (i.e. evolution from simple steatosis to advanced fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver transplant and death). Conversely, NAFLD will contribute to metabolic decompensation of T2D. The pathogenesis of T2D in NAFLD patients may be mediated by several hepatokines impairing metabolic control. Among these, Fetuin-B, which causes glucose intolerance and is increased in patients with T2D and NAFLD with fibrosis is one of the most promising. T2D may affect the progression of NAFLD by acting at different levels of the pathogenic cascade involving gut microbiota and expanded, inflamed, dysfunctional adipose tissue. In conclusion, T2D and NAFLD are mutually, closely and bi-directionally associated. An improved understanding of molecular pathogenesis underlying this bi-directional association may allow us to be able to prevent the development of T2D by halting the progression of NAFLD

    Do Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Fetuin-A Play Different Roles in Symptomatic Coronary Artery Disease and Peripheral Arterial Disease?

    Get PDF
    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with both atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Fetuin-A. However, the association of Fetuin-A with atherosclerosis is more controversial. We hypothesized that the pathogenic interplay of NAFLD, Fetuin-A and atherosclerosis varies based on arterial site. Accordingly, we aimed to assess NAFLD prevalence, Fetuin-A values and their relationship with symptomatic atherosclerosis occurring in different localizations: coronary artery disease (CAD) vs. peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

    Ultrasonographic fatty liver indicator detects mild steatosis and correlates with metabolic/histological parameters in various liver diseases

    No full text
    Background and aims Fatty liver is a common feature of different types of liver diseases. The sensitivity and specificity of ultrasonography for diagnosing fatty liver are variable. A semi-quantitative ultrasound score, i.e., the ultrasonographic fatty liver indicator (US-FLI), is closely associated with metabolic/histological variables in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The main aims of this study were to assess the diagnostic performance of US-FLI in detecting varying degrees of histological steatosis, and to examine the association of US-FLI with metabolic/histological parameters in 352 biopsied patients with various chronic liver diseases (173 with hepatitis C [HCV], 23 with hepatitis B [HBV], 123 with NAFLD and 33 with other etiologies). Results US-FLI accurately detected mild steatosis (minimum amount 10% on histology) with a cut-off value 65 2 (sensitivity 90.1%, specificity 90%), moderate steatosis ( 65 30%) with a cut-off value 65 3 (sensitivity 86.4%, specificity 92.5%) and severe steatosis (> 66%) with a cut-off value 65 5 (sensitivity 88.5%, specificity 87%). US-FLI was correlated with steatosis percentage in each liver disease group as well as with lobular inflammation, ballooning, portal fibrosis, grading and staging in patients with NAFLD or HCV. US-FLI was also correlated with waist circumference, body mass index and insulin resistance both in the whole sample and in each liver disease group. Conclusions US-FLI accurately identifies histological severity and is correlated with metabolic parameters in patients with various steatogenic liver diseases. US-FLI is an easy and versatile tool for the screening of steatosis and the metabolic health of these patients

    Clinical features and natural history of cryptogenic cirrhosis compared to hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis

    Get PDF
    AIM To characterize natural history of cryptogenic cirrhosis (CC) and compare its clinical features and outcomes to those of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis. METHODS A prospective cohort of 102 consecutive patients at their first diagnosis of CC were enrolled in this study. The clinical data and outcomes were compared to an age-and Child-Pugh class-matched cohort of 110 patients with HCV-related cirrhosis. Diagnosis of cirrhosis was based on compatible clinical and laboratory parameters, ultrasound/endoscopic parameters and, whenever possible, on histological grounds and transient elastography. All cases of cirrhosis without a definite etiology were enrolled in the CC group. The parameters assessed were: (1) severity of liver disease at the time of first diagnosis; (2) liver decompensation during follow-up; (3) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); (4) orthotopic liver transplantation; and (5) death. The independent associated factors were evaluated by multiple logistic regression analysis, and survival and its determinants by the Kaplan-Meier model, log-rank test and Cox regression. RESULTS At the first observation, median age was 66 and 65 years and male gender was 36% and 58% for CC and HCV cirrhosis, respectively. CC showed Child-Pugh class A/B/C of 47%/31%/22%, respectively. Compared to HCV cirrhosis, CC exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (12% vs 54%, respectively), overweight/obesity, high BMI, impaired glucose tolerance, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, cardiovascular diseases, extrahepatic cancer, and gallstones. Over a median period of 42 mo of follow-up, liver decompensation, HCC development and death for CC and HCV-related cirrhosis were 60.8%, and 54.4%, 16.7% and 17.2%, 39.2% and 30%, respectively. The median survival was 60 mo for CC. Independent predictors of death were age and Child-Pugh class at diagnosis. CC showed an approximately twofold higher incidence of HCC in Child-Pugh class A. CONCLUSION Undiagnosed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has an etiologic role in CC that is associated with a poor prognosis, early HCC development, high risk of cardiovascular disease and extrahepatic cancer

    NAFLD as a Sexual Dimorphic Disease: Role of Gender and Reproductive Status in the Development and Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Inherent Cardiovascular Risk

    Get PDF
    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) spans steatosis through nonalcoholic steatohepatis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with striking systemic features and excess cardiovascular and liver-related mortality. The pathogenesis of NAFLD is complex and multifactorial. Endocrine derangements are closely linked with dysmetabolic traits. For example, in animal and human studies, female sex is protected from dysmetabolism thanks to young individuals’ ability to partition fatty acids towards ketone body production rather than very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)-triacylglycerol, and to sex-specific browning of white adipose tissue. Ovarian senescence facilitates both the development of massive hepatic steatosis and the fibrotic progression of liver disease in an experimental overfed zebrafish model. Consistently, estrogen deficiency, by potentiating hepatic inflammatory changes, hastens the progression of disease in a dietary model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) developing in ovariectomized mice fed a high-fat diet. In humans, NAFLD more often affects men; and premenopausal women are equally protected from developing NAFLD as they are from cardiovascular disease. It would be expected that early menarche, definitely associated with estrogen activation, would produce protection against the risk of NAFLD. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that early menarche may confer an increased risk of NAFLD in adulthood, excess adiposity being the primary culprit of this association. Fertile age may be associated with more severe hepatocyte injury and inflammation, but also with a decreased risk of liver fibrosis compared to men and postmenopausal status. Later in life, ovarian senescence is strongly associated with severe steatosis and fibrosing NASH, which may occur in postmenopausal women. Estrogen deficiency is deemed to be responsible for these findings via the development of postmenopausal metabolic syndrome. Estrogen supplementation may at least theoretically protect from NAFLD development and progression, as suggested by some studies exploring the effect of hormonal replacement therapy on postmenopausal women, but the variable impact of different sex hormones in NAFLD (i.e., the pro-inflammatory effect of progesterone) should be carefully considered

    Telomere length elongation after weight loss intervention in obese adults

    Get PDF
    INTRODUCTION: Telomeres may be considered markers of biological aging, shorter telomere length is associated with some age-related diseases; in several studies short telomere length has also been associated to obesity in adults and adolescents. However the relationship between telomere complex functions and obesity is still not clear. Aim of the study was to assess telomere length (TL) in adults' obese subjects before and after weight loss obtained by placement of bioenteric intragastric balloon (BIB) for 6months. METHODS: We enrolled 42 obese subjects before and after BIB placement as weight loss intervention. Blood samples were collected in order to obtain DNA from leukocyte to measure TL by quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Data were analyzed only in 37 subjects with complete data; all presented important body weight loss (124.06\ub126.7 vs 105.40\ub123.14, p<0.001) and more interesting they presented a significant increase in TL (3.58\ub10.83 vs 5.61\ub13.29, p<0.001). Moreover we observed a significant positive correlation between TL elongation and weight loss (r=0.44, p=0.007) as well as an inverse correlation between TL at baseline and TL elongation (r=-0.35, p=0.03).The predictors of TL elongation were once again weight loss and short TL at baseline (respectively p=0.007 and p=0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that weight loss is associated to telomere lengthening in a positive correlation: the greater weight loss the greater telomere lengthening; moreover telomere lengthening is more significant in those subjects with shortest telomeres at baseline.Introduction: Telomeres may be considered markers of biological aging, shorter telomere length is associated with some age-related diseases; in several studies short telomere length has also been associated to obesity in adults and adolescents. However the relationship between telomere complex functions and obesity is still not clear. Aim of the study was to assess telomere length (TL) in adults' obese subjects before and after weight loss obtained by placement of bioenteric intragastric balloon (BIB) for 6 months. Methods: We enrolled 42 obese subjects before and after BIB placement as weight loss intervention. Blood samples were collected in order to obtain DNA from leukocyte to measure TL by quantitative PCR. Results: Data were analyzed only in 37 subjects with complete data; all presented important body weight loss (124.06 \ub1 26.7 vs 105.40 \ub1 23.14, p < 0.001) and more interesting they presented a significant increase in TL (3.58 \ub1 0.83 vs 5.61 \ub1 3.29, p < 0.001). Moreover we observed a significant positive correlation between TL elongation and weight loss (r = 0.44, p = 0.007) as well as an inverse correlation between TL at baseline and TL elongation (r = - 0.35, p = 0.03).The predictors of TL elongation were once again weight loss and short TL at baseline (respectively p = 0.007 and p = 0.003). Conclusions: Our study shows that weight loss is associated to telomere lengthening in a positive correlation: the greater weight loss the greater telomere lengthening; moreover telomere lengthening is more significant in those subjects with shortest telomeres at baseline

    Diagnosis of Nocardia paucivorans central nervous system infection by DNA sequencing from paraffin-embedded tissue

    No full text
    Infections by Nocardia spp. are generally regarded as opportunistic diseases in immunocompromised patients, but can also affect immunocompetent subjects. Such infections represent an important diagnostic challenge for clinicians and microbiologists, and diagnosis is frequently delayed or even conducted post mortem. A 54-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of ventriculitis and relapsing brain abscess. Five months prior, this patient had undergone external ventricular drain and surgery for a cerebellar abscess. Histopathology demonstrated pyogenic inflammatory reaction, microbiologic investigations proved negative and empiric antimicrobial therapy was administered for a total of eight weeks. Six weeks later, the patient developed relapsing neurologic manifestations. On reviewing the patient's clinical history it emerged that the patient had suffered pneumonia two months prior to neurosurgery, treated with amoxicillin/clavulanate 3g a day and levofloxacin 500mg a day for three weeks. On the CNS relapsing manifestations, nocardiosis was suspected and DNA sequencing from the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cerebellar tissue collected during neurosurgery allowed diagnosis of Nocardia paucivorans infection. The patient received medical therapy for 11 months. At follow-up, eight months after treatment was discontinued, the patient was aymptomatic. Nocardia spp. infections need to be suspected not only in immunocompromised, but also in immunocompetent patients. Proper samples need to be collected for proper microbiologic investigations. Paraffin-embedded tissue genomic sequencing can be a useful tool for diagnosis of nocardiosis
    corecore