Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and increased arterial stiffness: An established relationship with unclear pathogenetic mechanisms

Chrysoula Boutari, Konstantinos Tziomalos, Athanasios Binas, Alexandra Katsimardou, Michael Doumas, Vasileios Athyros, Asterios Karagiannis



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and is strongly associated with early atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular risk. In addition, many studies showed that patients with NAFLD, and especially with fibrosis, have higher risk for developing earlier and more severe arterial stiffness. However, the pathogenesis of increased arterial stiffness in this population has not been clarified yet. Insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, profibrotic factors and hypoadiponectinemia appear to represent the principal possible mechanisms. Therefore, more longitudinal studies are needed to this direction, in order to better understand the association between these two high-risk disorders.

Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, arterial stiffness, pulse wave velocity, liver fibrosis, cardiovascular risk