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Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Usefulness of Epicardial Fat Thickness as a Non-Invasive Marker of the Presence and Severity of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Published inBiomedicines, vol. 10, no. 9, 2204
Publication date2022-09-06
First online date2022-09-06
Abstract

We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association between epicardial fat thickness (EFT) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) and was based on a registered protocol (CRD 4201809 5493). We searched Medline and Embase until December 2021 for studies reporting on the association between EFT and NAFLD. Qualitative reviews, meta-analyses and meta-regressions were performed to explore this association. Effect sizes are reported as standardized mean differences. We included 12 studies, comprising 3610 individuals. EFT was evaluated with trans-thoracic echocardiography in nine studies, two studies using cardiac computed tomography and one study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The presence of NAFLD was evaluated using transabdominal liver ultrasound in nine studies. Other studies used histology, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and MRI-derived proton density fat fraction. Liver biopsy was performed to assess the severity of NAFLD in four studies. The random-effects meta-analysis indicated that, as compared to control patients with lean livers, patients with NAFLD displayed significantly higher EFT (standardized mean difference 0.61, 95% confidence interval: 0.47-0.75, p < 0.0001, I2= 72%). EFT was further significantly higher in patients with severe liver steatosis versus patients with mild-moderate liver steatosis (standardized mean difference 1.21 95% confidence interval: 0.26-2.16, p < 0.001, I2S = 96%). Through the meta-regression analysis, we found that patients with increasingly higher blood levels of aspartate aminotransferase displayed an increasingly higher depth of association. The current meta-analysis suggests that EFT may represent a useful surrogate for assessing the presence and severity of NAFLD in a non-invasive manner.

eng
Keywords
  • CT-SCAN
  • MRI
  • Epicardial fat
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Non-invasive marker
  • Steatosis
  • Ultrasonography
Citation (ISO format)
ORCI, Lorenzo et al. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Usefulness of Epicardial Fat Thickness as a Non-Invasive Marker of the Presence and Severity of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. In: Biomedicines, 2022, vol. 10, n° 9, p. 2204. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10092204
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ISSN of the journal2227-9059
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Creation09/29/2022 8:30:00 AM
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