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Obes Res. 2002 May;10(5):408-11.

Liver volume and visceral obesity in women with hepatic steatosis undergoing gastric banding.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy.



To investigate the relationships between visceral obesity and hepatic steatosis in obese patients undergoing adjustable silicone gastric banding with the LAP-BAND.


Six premenopausal, morbidly obese women with an ultrasonographic diagnosis of liver steatosis were evaluated before surgery and 8 and 24 weeks after surgery. Liver volume and body fat distribution were simultaneously analyzed by total-body multislices magnetic resonance imaging.


Before surgery, the only variable found to be correlated with liver volume was visceral adipose tissue volume (r = 0.91; p < 0.01). Weight loss was 9.9 +/- 3.8 kg in the period from 0 to 8 weeks (p < 0.01) and 7.1 +/- 4.9 kg in the the period from 8 to 24 weeks (p < 0.05). Total fat showed a statistically significant reduction of 6.2 +/- 4.0 liters in the 0- to 8-week period and a further significant reduction of 7.7 +/- 3.9 liters in the 8- to 24-week period. Visceral adipose tissue showed a statistically significant reduction of 1.0 +/- 0.9 liters in the 0- to 8-week period (p < 0.05) but only a further, not significant reduction of 0.6 +/- 0.7 liters in the 8- to 24-week period. The relative reduction of visceral fat in the 0-to 8-week period was higher than the relative reduction of total fat. Liver volume also showed a statistically significant reduction of 0.24 +/- 0.26 liters in the first phase of weight loss (p < 0.05), corresponding to a relative reduction of 12.3 +/- 10.6%. During the 8- to 24-week period, liver volume was substantially stable.


Hepatomegaly was associated with visceral obesity in morbidly obese women with liver steatosis. In the phase of rapid weight loss after gastric surgery, a preferential mobilization of visceral fat, compared with total adipose tissue, occurred. This preferential visceral fat loss was associated with a significant reduction in liver volume.

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