Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Currently, the routinely used modalities are unable to adequately determine the levels of steatosis and fibrosis (laboratory tests and ultrasonography) or cannot be applied as a screening procedure (liver biopsy). Among the non-invasive tests, transient elastography (FibroScan(®), TE) with controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) has demonstrated good accuracy in quantifying the levels of liver steatosis and fibrosis in patients with NAFLD, the factors associated with the diagnosis and NAFLD progression. The method is fast, reliable and reproducible, with good intra- and interobserver levels of agreement, thus allowing for population-wide screening and disease follow-up. The initial inability of the procedure to accurately determine fibrosis and steatosis in obese patients has been addressed with the development of the obese-specific XL probe. TE with CAP is a viable alternative to ultrasonography, both as an initial assessment and during follow-up of patients with NAFLD. Its ability to exclude patients with advanced fibrosis may be used to identify low-risk NAFLD patients in whom liver biopsy is not needed, therefore reducing the risk of complications and the financial costs.
Abstract:Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), including those with end-stage renal disease, treated with dialysis, or renal transplant recipients have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Dyslipidemia, often present in this patient population, is an important risk factor for CVD development. Specific quantitative and qualitative changes are seen at different stages of renal impairment and are associated with the degree of glomerular filtration rate declining. Patients with non-dialysis-dependent CKD have low high-density lipoproteins (HDL), normal or low total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increased triglycerides as well as increased apolipoprotein B (apoB), lipoprotein(a) (Lp (a)), intermediate-and very-low-density lipoprotein (IDL, VLDL; "remnant particles"), and small dense LDL particles. In patients with nephrotic syndrome lipid profile is more atherogenic with increased TC, LDL, and triglycerides. Lipid profile in hemodialysis (HD) patients is usually similar to that in non-dialysis-dependent CKD patients. Patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) have more altered dyslipidemia compared to HD patients, which is more atherogenic in nature. These differences may be attributed to PD per se but may also be associated with the selection of dialytic modality. In renal transplant recipients, TC, LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides are elevated, whereas HDL is significantly reduced. Many factors can influence post-transplant dyslipidemia including immunosuppressive agents. This patient population is obviously at high risk; hence, prompt diagnosis and management are required to improve their clinical outcomes. Various studies have shown statins to be effective in the cardiovascular risk reduction in patients with mild-to-moderate CKD as well as in renal transplant recipients. However, according to recent clinical randomized controlled trials (4D, A Study to Evaluate the Use of Rosuvastatin in Subjects on Regular Dialysis: an Assessment of Survival and Cardiovascular Events, and Study of Heart and Renal protection), these beneficial effects are uncertain in dialyzed patients. Therefore, further research for the most suitable treatment options is needed.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common comorbidities associated with overweight and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Importantly, NAFLD is one of its most dangerous complications because it can lead to severe liver pathologies, including fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatic cellular carcinoma. Given the increasing worldwide prevalence of obesity, NAFLD has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease and therefore is a major global health problem. Currently, NAFLD is predominantly regarded as a hepatic manifestation of MetS. However, accumulating evidence indicates that the effects of NAFLD extend beyond the liver and are negatively associated with a range of chronic diseases, most notably cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is becoming increasingly clear that these diseases are the result of the same underlying pathophysiological processes associated with MetS, such as insulin resistance, chronic systemic inflammation and dyslipidemia. As a result, they have been shown to be independent reciprocal risk factors. In addition, recent data have shown that NAFLD actively contributes to aggravation of the pathophysiology of CVD, T2DM, and CKD, as well as several other pathologies. Thus, NAFLD is a direct cause of many chronic diseases associated with MetS, and better detection and treatment of fatty liver disease is therefore urgently needed. As non-invasive screening methods for liver disease become increasingly available, detection and treatment of NAFLD in patients with MetS should therefore be considered by both (sub-) specialists and primary care physicians.
Obesity is defined as an excess amount of body fat and represents a significant health problem worldwide. High prevalence of vitamin D (VD) deficiency in obese subjects is a well-documented finding, most probably due to volumetric dilution into the greater volumes of fat, serum, liver, and muscle, even though other mechanisms could not completely be excluded, as they may contribute concurrently. Low VD could not yet be excluded as a cause of obesity, due to its still incompletely explored effects through VD receptors found in adipose tissue (AT). VD deficiency in obese people does not seem to have consequences for bone tissue, but may affect other organs, even though studies have shown inconsistent results and VD supplementation has not yet been clearly shown to benefit the dysmetabolic state. Hence, more studies are needed to determine the actual role of VD deficiency in development of those disorders. Thus, targeting lifestyle through healthy diet and exercise should be the first treatment option that will affect both obesity-related dysmetabolic state and vitamin D deficiency, killing two birds with one stone. However, VD supplementation remains a treatment option in individuals with residual VD deficiency after weight loss.
The liver plays a major role in iron homeostasis; thus, in patients with chronic liver disease, iron regulation may be disturbed. Higher iron levels are present not only in patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, but also in those with alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatitis C viral infection. Chronic liver disease decreases the synthetic functions of the liver, including the production of hepcidin, a key protein in iron metabolism. Lower levels of hepcidin result in iron overload, which leads to iron deposits in the liver and higher levels of non-transferrin-bound iron in the bloodstream. Iron combined with reactive oxygen species leads to an increase in hydroxyl radicals, which are responsible for phospholipid peroxidation, oxidation of amino acid side chains, DNA strain breaks, and protein fragmentation. Iron-induced cellular damage may be prevented by regulating the production of hepcidin or by administering hepcidin agonists. Both of these methods have yielded successful results in mouse models.
One of the least studied topics in the field of obstetrics is liver disease during pregnancy, which creates a challenge for both gynecologists and hepatologists. Approximately 3% of pregnant women are affected by some form of liver disease during pregnancy. Some of these conditions can be fatal for both the mother and child. In addition, 3 types of liver disease need to be differentiated during pregnancy. One type is liver disease directly related to pregnancy, which can occur at a specific time during pregnancy. Another type is liver disease not related to pregnancy, which can occur at any time, such as viral- or drug-induced hepatitis. Furthermore, pregnancy can occur in women with pre-existing liver disease. It is essential that the clinicians are familiar with this disorder so they can respond promptly and appropriately in all of these situations, especially when emergency delivery is needed and must not be postponed.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) is a challenging and multisystem disease that has a high socioeconomic impact. NAFLD/NASH is a main cause of macrovesicular steatosis and has multiple impacts on liver transplantation (LT), on patients on the waiting list for transplant, on post-transplant setting as well as on organ donors. Current data indicate new trends in the area of chronic liver disease. Due to the increased incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components, NASH cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma caused by NASH will soon become a major indication for LT. Furthermore, due to an increasing incidence of MetS and, consequently, NAFLD, there will be more steatotic donor livers and less high quality organs available for LT, in addition to a lack of available liver allografts. Patients who have NASH and are candidates for LT have multiple comorbidities and are unique LT candidates. Finally, we discuss long-term grafts and patient survival after LT, the recurrence of NASH and NASH appearing de novo after transplantation. In addition, we suggest topics and areas that require more research for improving the health care of this increasing patient population.
The present study results link the systemic effects of induced periodontitis with changes in hepatic tissues such as microvesicular steatosis, likely caused by an increase in oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. The findings from the present study implicate an association between a decrease of pericytes and liver disease caused by ligature-induced periodontitis in rats.
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