Background and aims: Obesity and the metabolic syndrome are established risk factors of venous thromboembolism. As most coagulation factors are produced exclusively by the liver and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is tightly related to metabolic disorders, we aimed at studying the association of liver fat with various coagulation factor activities.
Methods: Plasma prothrombin (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time, activities of vWF:RCo, FVII, FVIII, FIX, FXI, FXII, FXIII, fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations were measured in 54 subjects with and 44 without NAFLD diagnosed by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Subjects were recruited retrospectively for metabolic studies in our laboratory. The body composition and features of insulin resistance were measured in all subjects.
Results: FVIII (107±30 vs. 84±22%, P<0.001), FIX (110±14 vs. 94±16%, P<0.001), FXI (109±16 vs. 96±19%, P=0.001) and FXII (113±21 vs. 99±32%, P=0.002) activities were consistently elevated in subjects with as compared with those without NAFLD. Liver fat percentage was positively related to FVIII (r=0.28, P=0.005), FIX (r=0.36, P=0.0003), FXI (r=0.29, P=0.004) and FXII (r=0.30, P=0.003) activities, again independent of age, gender and body mass index (BMI). PT%, vWF:RCo activity and fibrinogen were higher in subjects with as compared with those without NAFLD, but this difference disappeared after adjusting for age, gender and BMI.
Conclusion: FVIII, FIX, FXI and FXII activities are increased in human NAFLD and correlate with the features of insulin resistance. The relationships between NAFLD and these coagulation factors are independent of age, gender and BMI, suggesting that the fatty liver can contribute to the risk of thrombosis.