Associations between plasma adiponectin concentrations and liver histology in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Article first published online: 12 APR 2006
Volume 64, Issue 6, pages 679–683, June 2006
How to Cite
Targher, G., Bertolini, L., Rodella, S., Zoppini, G., Scala, L., Zenari, L. and Falezza, G. (2006), Associations between plasma adiponectin concentrations and liver histology in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Clinical Endocrinology, 64: 679–683. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2006.02527.x
- Issue published online: 12 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 12 APR 2006
- (Received 30 October 2005; returned for revision 22 November 2005; finally revised 8 December 2005; accepted 31 January 2006)
Objectives To explore associations between plasma adiponectin concentrations and liver histology in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Design and patients In a cross-sectional study, we enrolled 60 consecutive NAFLD patients and 60 age-, sex- and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy controls.
Measurements NAFLD (by liver biopsy), plasma adiponectin concentrations, insulin resistance (by homeostasis model assessment, HOMA-IR) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) features.
Results NAFLD patients had a marked decrease in plasma adiponectin concentration (6·1 ± 2·8 vs. 13·6 ± 3·8 µg/ml, P < 0·001) compared with matched controls. MetS, as defined by the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) criteria, and its individual components were more frequent among NAFLD patients. The marked differences in adiponectin concentrations that were observed between the groups were little affected by adjustment for age, sex, BMI, HOMA-IR score and MetS components. Notably, decreased adiponectin levels were closely associated with the degree of hepatic steatosis, necroinflammation and fibrosis (P < 0·001 for all) among NAFLD patients. By logistic regression analysis, low adiponectin levels independently predicted hepatic steatosis [odds ratio (OR) 2·3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·5–5·8, P < 0·001] and necroinflammation (OR 3·1, 95% CI 1·9–7, P < 0·001), but not fibrosis (P = 0·07), after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, HOMA-IR and MetS components.
Conclusions NAFLD patients have markedly lower plasma adiponectin concentrations than control subjects. Low adiponectin levels are strongly associated with the severity of liver histology, thus further supporting the hypothesis that adiponectin might be involved in the development of NAFLD.