Nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis is a strong predictor of high-risk coronary-artery plaques as determined by multidetector CT

Kazuhiro Osawa, Toru Miyoshi, Kentarou Yamauchi, Yasushi Koyama, Kazufumi Nakamura, Shuhei Sato, Susumu Kanazawa, Hiroshi Ito

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with a risk of coronary artery disease (e.g., diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome). We evaluated whether nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis is associated with high-risk plaques as assessed by multidetector computed tomography (CT). Methods: This retrospective study involved 414 participants suspected of having coronary artery disease. Nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis was defined as a liver-to-spleen fat ratio of <1.0 and the presence and appropriate characteristics of coronary-artery plaques as assessed by coronary CT angiography. High-risk plaques were identified, as were low-density plaques, positive remodeling, and spotty calcification. Results: Compared with patients who did not have nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, patients with non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis had more low-density plaques (21% vs. 44%, p<0.01), positive remodeling (41% vs. 58%, p = 0.01), and spotty calcification (12% vs. 36%, p<0.01). The number of high-risk plaques in patients with nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis was greater than in those without nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis (p<0.01). Patients with nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis were more likely to have high-risk plaques than were those with only an elevated level of visceral adipose tissue (≥6 cm2; 35% vs. 16%, p<0.01). Multivariate analyses that included nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, amount of visceral adipose tissue, and the presence/absence of traditional risk factors demonstrated that nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis was an independent predictor of high-risk plaques (odds ratio: 4.60; 95% confidence interval: 1.94-9.07, p<0.01). Conclusions: Diagnosis of nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis may be of value when assessing the risk of coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0131138
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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