[Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1: a new biochemical marker of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?]

Mabel Nora Graffigna, Susana H Belli, Gabriela de Larrañaga, Hugo Fainboim, Claudio Estepo, Silvia Peres, Natalia García, Oscar Levalle
Acta Gastroenterologica Latinoamericana 2009, 39 (1): 30-7

AIM: to assess the presence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with risk factors for this pathology (obesity, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and diabetes type 2) and to determine the role of insulin, HOMA index, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1, sex hormone-binding globulin and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1, as biochemical markers.

METHODS: Ninety-one patients with risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were evaluated. Serum transaminases, insulin, sex hormone-binding globulin, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 were measured. The diagnosis of fatty liver was performed by ultrasonography and liver biopsies were performed to 31 subjects who had steatosis by ultrasonography and high alanine aminotransferase.

RESULTS: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was present in 65 out of 91 patients (71,4%). Liver biopsy performed to 31 subjects confirmed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Twenty-five patients had different degrees of fibrosis. Those individuals with fatty liver had higher waist circumference, serum levels of triglycerides, insulin and HOMA index, and lower serum insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 concentration. The degree ofhepatic steatosis by ultrasonography was positively correlated to waist circumference, triglycerides, insulin and HOMA index (p<0,003; p<0,003; p<0,002 and p<0,001, respectively), and was negatively correlated to HDL-cholesterol and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (p<0,025 and p<0,018, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: We found a high prevalence of NAFLD in patients with risk factors, most of them overweight or obese. Although SHBG and PAI-1 have a closely relationship to insulin resistance, they did not show to be markers of NAFLD. Regardless of low IGFBP-1 levels associated with NAFLD, serum IGFBP-1 measure is less accessible than insulin and triglycerides levels, HOMA index and waist circumference. Moreover, it is not a better marker for NAFLD than the above mentioned.

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