Gaucher disease (GD) is associated with peculiar metabolic abnormalities (i.e. hypermetabolic state, peripheral insulin resistance, dyslipidemia), partially reverted by enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) at the expense of weight gain. Such metabolic alterations together with an unhealthy lifestyle acquired by an aging GD population may favour the development of liver steatosis. We aimed at evaluating the prevalence of significant liver steatosis and at identifying the factors associated with liver steatosis in a cohort of patients with type 1 GD.
20 adult type 1 GD patients from an Italian academic referral centre were prospectively submitted to vibration controlled transient elastography (Fibroscan®) with controlled attenuation parameter (CAP); significant steatosis was defined as CAP values ≥ 250 dB/min.
Median CAP values were 234 [165-358] dB/min and 8 patients (40%) had significant steatosis. Significant steatosis was associated with indices of adiposity (weight, BMI and waist circumference), high blood pressure, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. GD-related variables and dose and duration of ERT were not associated with significant steatosis. In the subgroup of 16 patients on stable ERT for at least 24 months, CAP resulted significantly and positively associated with liver stiffness (rho 0.559, p=0.024).
Significant steatosis is highly prevalent in adult type 1 GD patients and is strongly associated with a worse metabolic profile, featuring metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD). MAFLD may determine liver fibrosis progression in GD patients on stable ERT and may be a risk factor for long-term liver-related complications. EWC: 244.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.