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Fibrotic Burden in the Liver Differs Across Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease Subtypes

Lim, TS | Chun, HS | Kim, SS  | Kim, JK | Lee, M | Cho, HJ  | Kim, SU | Cheong, JY
Gut and liver, 17(4). : 610-619, 2023
Journal Title
Gut and liver
Background/Aims: Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is categorized into three subtypes: overweight/obese (OW), lean/normal weight with metabolic abnormalities, and diabetes mellitus (DM). We investigated whether fibrotic burden in liver differs across subtypes of MAFLD patients. Methods: This cross-sectional multicenter study was done in cohorts of subjects who underwent a comprehensive medical health checkup between January 2014 and December 2020. A total of 42,651 patients with ultrasound-diagnosed fatty liver were included. Patients were classified as no MAFLD, OW-MAFLD, lean-MAFLD, and DM-MAFLD. Advanced liver fibrosis was defined based on the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease fibrosis score (NFS) or fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index. Results: The mean age of the patients was 50.0 years, and 74.1% were male. The proportion of patients with NFS-defined advanced liver fibrosis was the highest in DM-MAFLD (6.6%), followed by OW-MAFLD (2.0%), lean-MAFLD (1.3%), and no MAFLD (0.2%). The proportion of patients with FIB-4-defined advanced liver fibrosis was the highest in DM-MAFLD (8.6%), followed by lean-MAFLD (3.9%), OW-MAFLD (3.0%), and no MAFLD (2.0%). With the no MAFLD group as reference, the adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for NFS-defined advanced liver fibrosis were 4.46 (2.09 to 9.51), 2.81 (1.12 to 6.39), and 9.52 (4.46 to 20.36) in OW-MAFLD, lean-MAFLD, and DM-MAFLD, respectively, and the adjusted odds ratios for FIB-4-defined advanced liver fibrosis were 1.03 (0.78 to 1.36), 1.14 (0.82 to 1.57), and 1.97 (1.48 to 2.62) in OW-MAFLD, lean-MAFLD, and DM-MAFLD. Conclusions: Fibrotic burden in the liver differs across MAFLD subtypes. Optimized surveillance strategies and therapeutic options might be needed for different MAFLD subtypes.


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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Gastroenterology
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