Hepatology International

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 379–385 | Cite as

Clinical significance of serum autoantibodies in patients with NAFLD: results from the nonalcoholic steatohepatitis clinical research network

  • Raj Vuppalanchi
  • Robert J. Gould
  • Laura A. Wilson
  • Aynur Unalp-Arida
  • Oscar W. Cummings
  • Naga Chalasani
  • Kris V. Kowdley
  • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN)
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Some studies have suggested that autoantibodies might define a subcategory and phenotype of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) associated with advanced histological features. We evaluated the relationship between the presence of serum autoantibodies and liver histology in a large cohort of well-characterized patients with NAFLD.

Methods

A total of 864 NAFLD patients participating in two prospective multicentre clinical studies underwent testing for serum autoantibodies within 24 months of a liver biopsy. Liver histology was compared between the patients with and without ANA ≥ 1:160 or ASMA ≥ 1:40 or both.

Results

Autoantibodies were present in 182 patients (21%). There was no difference in age, gender, race, body mass index (BMI), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), or history of diabetes between the two groups. Biopsies in subjects with autoantibodies were less likely to have moderate-to-severe steatosis (i.e., >33%) compared to controls (57.1 vs. 43.0%, P value = 0.0006). Lobular inflammation (46.7 vs. 47.5%), ballooning degeneration (38.5 vs. 42.5%), and advanced fibrosis (33.2 vs. 29.3%) were not different between the two groups. Histologic evidence of ‘definite’ NASH did not differ significantly between the two groups (55.5 vs. 58.9%). After adjusting for age, gender, BMI, race, and diabetes, the presence of autoantibodies was independently associated with lower prevalence of moderate-to-severe steatosis [odds ratio (OR), 0.58; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.41–0.82; P = 0.01].

Conclusion

Autoantibodies are frequently positive in NAFLD in the absence of autoimmune hepatitis and their occurrence is not associated with more advanced histologic features.

Keywords

Autoantibodies NASH NAFLD Liver histology 

Abbreviations

NAFLD

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

NASH

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

PIVENS

Pioglitazone versus Vitamin E versus Placebo for the treatment of non diabetic patients with NASH

Supplementary material

12072_2011_9277_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)

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Copyright information

© Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raj Vuppalanchi
    • 1
  • Robert J. Gould
    • 2
  • Laura A. Wilson
    • 3
  • Aynur Unalp-Arida
    • 3
  • Oscar W. Cummings
    • 1
  • Naga Chalasani
    • 1
  • Kris V. Kowdley
    • 2
  • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN)
  1. 1.Indiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Liver Disease, Virginia Mason Medical CentreSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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