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Vol. 55, No. 4, 2009
Issue release date: December 2009
Ann Nutr Metab 2009;55:351–357

Relation between Body Fat and Liver Fat Accumulation and Cytokine Pattern in Non-Alcoholic Patients with Chronic HCV Infection

González-Reimers E. · Castellano-Higuera A. · Alemán-Valls R. · Alvarez-Argüelles H. · de la Vega-Prieto M.J. · Abreu-González P. · López-Prieto J. · Santolaria-Fernández F. · Valladares-Parrilla F.
Servicios deaMedicina Interna, bAnatomía Patológica, cLaboratorio, Hospital Universitario de Canarias, dDepartamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain

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Background: Liver steatosis in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is multifactorial. Therefore, there is not necessarily a relation between obesity and liver fat.On the other hand, body fat secretes cytokines, and cytokines and oxidative damage play important roles on progression of liver disease. Methods: We analyzed the relationships between liver fat (assessed by histomorphometry) and trunk and subcutaneous fat (waist perimeter, triceps skinfold, BMI); the relationships between liver and body fat and cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-8, IFN-γ, IL-4), adipokines (adiponectin and TIMP-1), and serum malondiladehyde and antioxidants (glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities); and the relationships of these data with histological changes in 40 HCV-infected non-alcoholic patients. Results: Significant correlations were found between liver fat and waist perimeter and BMI, and between serum TIMP-1 and liver fat. Serum TIMP-1 was significantly related to body fat stores; serum IL-6 and IFN-γ were related to histological inflammation. Patients with waist perimeter >102 cm (men) or 88 cm (women) showed increased liver fat. In 38.8% of non-obese patients, liver fat accumulation was intense. Conclusions: There is a relationship between visceral fat, serum TIMP-1 and liver steatosis. However, at least in some patients, factors different from mere adiposity play a role in liver steatosis.

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