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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Oct;94(10):4103-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-0541. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver is not associated with carotid intima-media thickness in type 2 diabetic patients.

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Centre de Recherche, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Unité 866, Services de Diabétologie et Endocrinologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire du Bocage, 21079 Dijon cedex, France.



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is commonly associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Several studies suggest that NAFLD is independently associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in nondiabetic subjects. In type 2 diabetic subjects, the link between fatty liver and atherosclerosis is less clear. In this study, we set out to determine, whether fatty liver content, evaluated using 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a very precise imaging technique, was associated with atherosclerosis in people with type 2 diabetes.


A total of 101 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were included in this study. Liver fat (1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and carotid intima media thickness (IMT) were measured.


Sixty-one (60.3%) patients had steatosis (hepatic triglyceride content greater than 5.5%). Liver fat content was correlated with fasting serum triglycerides (r = 0.22; P = 0.02) and alanine aminotransferase (r = 0.42; P = 0.0001). Sixty-eight percent of subjects with severe steatosis (hepatic triglyceride content greater than 15%) had aspartate aminotransferase in the normal range. Age was strongly correlated with IMT (r = 0.37; P = 0.0002). Steatosis did not correlate with IMT (r = -0.03; P = 0.75). There was no significant difference between the two groups (with and without hepatic steatosis) for IMT values.


this study suggests that in people with type 2 diabetes, fatty liver is not associated with cardiovascular disease. In a diabetic population, it seems that fatty liver is not a determinant factor associated with carotid IMT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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