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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jun;47(6):432-439. Korean. Original Article.
Moon JH , Park SH , Oh KC , Jung JO , Shin WG , Kim JP , Kim KO , Park CH , Hahn T , Yoo KS , Kim JH , Kim DJ , Lee MS , Park CK , Jun SY .
Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea.
Department of Pathology, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis can develop from nonalcoholic fatty liver and progress to severe liver disease such as cirrhosis. The mechanism determining the progression from fatty liver to steatohepatitis is unknown. Iron is suspected to enhance hepatic damage associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aims of this study were to evaluate the relationship of serum iron indices and hepatic iron deposition with hepatic fibrosis or inflammation, and to assess whether the increased hepatic iron deposition is an independent predictor of progression to liver injury. METHODS: The biochemical and histopathological data of thirty-nine patients with NAFLD were analyzed. Liver biopsy findings were graded according to the method described by Brunt, et al. Hepatic iron concentration was available in 29 of 39 patients. RESULTS: The mean hepatic iron concentration and hepatic iron indices were 1,349+/-1,188 microgram/g dry weight and 0.9+/-0.7 microgram/g/age. Serum ferritin and body mass indices were associated with hepatic inflammation (p=0.001, p=0.006) and fibrosis (p=0.005, p=0.013). Hepatic iron concentration and hepatic iron index were not associated with hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. Multivariate analysis did not identify serum ferritin or body mass index as an independent predictor of liver injury. CONCLUSIONS: Hepatic iron deposition shows no association with the degree of hepatic inflammation or fibrosis. Hepatic iron is not an independent predictor of hepatic injury in patients with NAFLD.

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