NAFLD and NASH in HCV Infection: Prevalence and Significance in Hepatic and Extrahepatic Manifestations.

International journal of molecular sciences

PubMedID: 27231906

Adinolfi LE, Rinaldi L, Guerrera B, Restivo L, Marrone A, Giordano M, Zampino R. NAFLD and NASH in HCV Infection: Prevalence and Significance in Hepatic and Extrahepatic Manifestations. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(6):.
THE AIM
of this paper is to review and up to date the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and their significance in both accelerating progression of HCV-related liver disease and development of HCV-associated extrahepatic diseases.The reported mean prevalence of HCV-related NAFLD was 55%, whereas NASH was reported in 4%-10% of cases. HCV genotype 3 directly induces fatty liver deposition, namely "viral steatosis" and it is associated with the highest prevalence and degree of severity, whereas, HCV non-3 genotype infection showed lower prevalence of steatosis, which is associated with metabolic factors and insulin resistance. The host's genetic background predisposes him or her to the development of steatosis. HCV's impairment of lipid and glucose metabolism causes fatty liver accumulation; this seems to be a viral strategy to optimize its life cycle. Irrespective of insulin resistance, HCV-associated NAFLD, in a degree-dependent manner, contributes towards accelerating the liver fibrosis progression and development of hepatocellular carcinoma by inducing liver inflammation and oxidative stress. Furthermore, NAFLD is associated with the presence of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis. In addition, HCV-related "metabolic steatosis" impairs the response rate to interferon-based treatment, whereas it seems that "viral steatosis" may harm the response rate to new oral direct antiviral agents. In conclusion, a high prevalence of NAFLD occurs in HCV infections, which is, at least in part, induced by the virus, and that NAFLD significantly impacts progression of the liver disease, therapeutic response, and some extrahepatic diseases.