Assessment of Subclinical Myocardial Changes in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Case-Control Study Using Speckle Tracking Echocardiography

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

Cardiovascular Research Center, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Background: Considering the association between cardiac abnormalities and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the present study aimed to evaluate the relationship between biopsy-proven NAFLD and functional echocardiographic parameters, including left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS) in asymptomatic individuals. Methods: Thirty asymptomatic patients with liver biopsy-proven NAFLD and the same number with no evidence of fatty liver in ultrasonography were enrolled in the study as cases and controls, respectively. The measured echocardiographic parameters included LV ejection fraction (LVEF), LV end-systolic and end-diastolic dimensions (ESD, EDD), LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes (ESV, EDV), E/e’ ratio (early-diastolic mitral inflow velocity/early-diastolic myocardial velocity), E/A ratio (early-diastolic mitral inflow velocity/late-diastolic mitral inflow velocity), and GLS. Data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical software (version 18.0) by performing the independent t test, Chi-square, and non-parametric Mann-Whitney U tests. P values <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: A significant difference in ESD (32.1±1.4 mm vs. 34±1.8 mm), EDD (41.9±1.7 mm vs. 45.2±3.1 mm), and E/e’ ratio (8.4±0.8 vs. 7.4±1.2) was detected among individuals with NAFLD compared with those without NAFLD (P<0.001 for the first two parameters and P=0.002 for the last one). GLS was also significantly lower in NAFLD patients than in controls, but within normal levels (19.3%±2.0 vs. 21.2%±1.4, P<0.001). Conclusion: The findings support the presence of subclinical cardiovascular structural and functional changes in patients affected by NAFLD. It also indicates that the use of GLS is more sensitive than LVEF for the detection of LV systolic dysfunction in NAFLD patients.

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