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Metabolism. 2011 Mar;60(3):313-26. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Serum total adiponectin in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Second Medical Clinic, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ippokration Hospital, 54642 Thessaloniki, Greece.


Hypoadiponectinemia might represent a risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the serum total adiponectin levels in patients with simple nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), those with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and controls. Data were extracted from PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials electronic databases (up to December 2009). The main outcome was the weighted mean differences (WMDs) in adiponectin between comparison groups. Twenty-eight studies were included in the systematic review. A meta-analysis of 27 studies that reported data on 2243 subjects (698 controls and 1545 patients with NAFLD) was performed. Controls had higher serum adiponectin compared with NAFL patients (12 studies, random-effects WMD [95% confidence interval {CI}] = 3.00 [1.57-4.43], I² = 80.4%) or NASH patients (19 studies, random-effects WMD [95% CI] = 4.75 [3.71-5.78], I² = 84.1%). The NASH patients demonstrated lower adiponectin compared with NAFL patients (19 studies, random-effects WMD [95% CI] = 1.81 [1.09-2.53], I² = 71.7%). By performing a meta-regression analysis, body mass index, age, sex, and type 2 diabetes mellitus failed to account for heterogeneity. However, the performance of liver biopsy on controls had significant effect on the outcome and accounted for 76.7%, 85.5%, and 22.8% of the between-study variance for comparisons between controls vs NAFLD, NAFL, and NASH patients, respectively. Based on liver histology, serum adiponectin levels are similar in NAFL patients and controls, but hypoadiponectinemia may play an important pathophysiological role in the progression from NAFL to NASH.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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