Previous studies have been hampered by problems with case ascerta

Previous studies have been hampered by problems with case ascertainment, definition, and have generally had limited numbers and/or follow-up, which could potentially lead to inaccurate estimates of disease burden.10-12 It is well established that cirrhotic patients presenting with overt synthetic liver dysfunction are more likely to develop liver-related complications and have a high overall mortality. However, some important aspects of the prognosis of patients with NAFLD still remain unclear. First, it is unclear how the long-term prognosis of patients with NAFLD compares with patients with liver disease of other etiologies, such as chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)

infection. Second, what are the risks of liver-related complications, Selleckchem PLX4032 including HCC, in patients with NAFLD with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis and no overt synthetic dysfunction (i.e., Child-Pugh class A)? Third, the effect of NAFLD on non-liver-related sequelae, such as vascular outcomes (e.g., myocardial infarction, strokes, and vascular deaths), remains poorly described.13 Finally, it is unclear which, if any, risk factors can independently predict liver, vascular, and overall morbidity and mortality. To answer these questions, we carried out an international, multicenter prospective study to assess the natural history and outcomes of liver biopsy-confirmed NAFLD with advanced fibrosis

or cirrhosis from four medical centers. We sought to assess complications that occurred in these patients and identify the predictors of such events; we also compared their long-term morbidity and mortality to a group of patients with histologically confirmed chronic HCV infection and advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis. ALT,

alanine aminotransferase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; BMI, body mass index; CI, confidence interval; HCC, hepatocellular cancer; HCV, hepatitis C virus; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; MELD, Model for End-Stage these Liver Disease; NAFLD, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; SD, standard deviation. A total of 247 Child-Pugh class A patients with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD and advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis comprised the NAFLD cohort. This cohort was recruited from 1984 to 2006. Patients were previously untreated and consecutively biopsied at four centers: Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) (n = 105); Newcastle Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK) (n = 57); Westmead Hospital (Sydney, Australia) (n = 51); and University of Turin (Turin, Italy (n = 34). The comparator cohort consisted of 264 patients diagnosed with HCV infection and advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, who were also Child-Pugh class A, enrolled from 1987 to 2005. HCV infection was confirmed by a positive polymerase chain reaction at baseline in all patients. HCV subjects were seen and consecutively biopsied at Westmead Hospital (n = 209) and University of Turin (n = 55).

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