Cardiovascular diabetology 2018 02 1617(1) 28 doi 10.1186/s12933-018-0670-7
No study evaluated vascular health markers in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) through a combined analysis of reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and arterial stiffness indexes.
AIM OF THE STUDY
We aimed to assess whether NAFLD and its histological severity are associated with impairment of arterial stiffness and RH-PAT indexes in a mixed cohort of patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The Kleiner classification was used to grade NAFLD grade. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (Aix) were used as markers of arterial stiffness, whereas endothelial function was assessed using reactive hyperemia index (RHI). The mini-mental state examination (MMSE) was administered to test cognitive performance.
80 consecutive patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and 83 controls without fatty liver disease. NAFLD subjects showed significantly lower mean RHI, higher mean arterial stiffness indexes and lower mean MMSE score. Multivariable analysis after correction for BMI, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, sex, diabetes, age and cardiovascular disease showed that BMI, diastolic blood pressure and RHI are significantly associated to NAFLD. Simple linear regression analysis showed among non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) subjects a significant negative relationship between ballooning grade and MMSE and a significant positive association between Kleiner steatosis grade and augmentation index.
Future research will be addressed to evaluate the relationship between inflammatory markers and arterial stiffness and endothelial function indexes in NAFLD subjects. These study will evaluate association between cardiovascular event incidence and arterial stiffness, endothelial and cognitive markers, and they will address the beneficial effects of cardiovascular drugs such as statins and ACE inhibitors on these surrogate markers in NAFLD subjects.