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Association of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with stroke severity and brainstem infarctions.

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eMediNexus Editorial    03 January 2018

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is closely correlated to visceral obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

A new study published in the European Journal of Neurology assessed the association between a specific stroke subgroup, brainstem infarctions (BSIs), and NAFLD; and evaluated whether NAFLD is an independent risk factor in patients with BSIs.

This study entailed the assessment of NAFLD in 306 radiologically confirmed BSIs patients through liver ultrasound; differences between patients with and without NAFLD were compared.

The results revealed NAFLD in 42.5% patients with acute BSIs. While 19.0% of the patients had National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores >7, 18.6% had progression after admission. In addition, initial NIHSS scores, incidence of progression and stroke severity, and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores at discharge were significantly higher in patients with NAFLD than in those without NAFLD. Moreover, NAFLD was associated with stroke severity. This risk remained statistically significant after controlling for age, gender, diabetes mellitus and C reactive protein. Furthermore, NAFLD could be correlated to the disease progression and remained significant after controlling for age, gender, diabetes mellitus, fibrinogen, and C reactive protein.

The findings indicated that NAFLD is a potential risk factor when evaluating the severity and progression of acute BSIs. It was stated that this relationship is independent of classic risk factors and metabolic syndrome features.

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