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Histological findings and NAFLD/NASH Status in liver biopsies of patients subjected to bariatric surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatic fibrosis in biopsies of people with obesity who underwent bariatric surgery and examine the possible association of different variables with a diagnosis of NAFLD and NASH.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory data from 574 individuals with obesity of both genders seen by the same physician between 2003 and 2009 who had a liver biopsy during bariatric surgery were examined.

RESULTS: Of the 437 patients included, 39.8% had some degree of liver fibrosis, 95% had a histologic diagnosis of NAFLD, and the risk factors were age ≥ 28 years and Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA) ≥ 2.5 (p = 0.001 and p = 0.016, respectively). In the NAFLD group, NASH was present in 26% of patients and the associated factors were aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase index (AST/ALT) > 1, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) < 40 mg/dL, total cholesterol (TC) ≥ 200 mg/dL, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) > 38 U/L and triglycerides (TG) levels > 150 mg/dL. The independent risk factors were low HDL-c, elevated AST/ALT and high TG.

CONCLUSION: The variables associated with a diagnosis of NAFLD were HOMA ≥ 2.5 and age ≥ 28 years. NASH was associated with low HDL-c, high TG and AST/ALT ≤ 1.

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