Association of Histologic Disease Activity With Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network

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Abstract

Importance: The histologic evolution of the full spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and factors associated with progression or regression remain to be definitively established. Objective: To evaluate the histologic evolution of NAFLD and the factors associated with changes in disease severity over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort substudy from the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) NAFLD Database study, a noninterventional registry, was performed at 8 university medical research centers. Masked assessment of liver histologic specimens was performed, using a prespecified protocol to score individual biopsies. Participants included 446 adults with NAFLD enrolled in the NASH CRN Database studies between October 27, 2004, and September 13, 2013, who underwent 2 liver biopsies 1 or more year apart. Data analysis was performed from October 2016 to October 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Progression and regression of fibrosis stage, using clinical, laboratory, and histologic findings, including the NAFLD activity score (NAS) (sum of scores for steatosis, lobular inflammation, and ballooning; range, 0-8, with 8 indicating more severe disease). Results: A total of 446 adults (mean [SD] age, 47 [11] years; 294 [65.9%] women) with NAFLD (NAFL, 86 [19.3%]), borderline NASH (84 [18.8%]), and definite NASH (276 [61.9%]) were studied. Over a mean (SD) interval of 4.9 (2.8) years between biopsies, NAFL resolved in 11 patients (12.8%) and progressed to steatohepatitis in 36 patients (41.9%). Steatohepatitis resolved in 24 (28.6%) of the patients with borderline NASH and 61 (22.1%) of those with definite NASH. Fibrosis progression or regression by at least 1 stage occurred in 132 (30%) and 151 [34%] participants, respectively. Metabolic syndrome (20 [95%] vs 108 [72%]; P = .03), baseline NAS (mean [SD], 5.0 [1.4] vs 4.3 [1.6]; P = .005), and smaller reduction in NAS (-0.2 [2] vs -0.9 [2]; P < .001) were associated with progression to advanced (stage 3-4) fibrosis vs those without progression to stage 3 to 4 fibrosis. Fibrosis regression was associated with lower baseline insulin level (20 vs 33 μU/mL; P = .02) and decrease in all NAS components (steatosis grade -0.8 [0.1] vs -0.3 [0.9]; P < .001; lobular inflammation -0.5 [0.8] vs -0.2 [0.9]; P < .001; ballooning -0.7 [1.1] vs -0.1 [0.9]; P < .001). Only baseline aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were associated with fibrosis regression vs no change and progression vs no change on multivariable regression: baseline AST (regression: conditional odds ratio [cOR], 0.6 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.4-0.7; P < .001; progression: cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .002). Changes in the AST level, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, and NAS were also associated with fibrosis regression and progression (ΔAST level: regression, cOR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.6-1.2; P = .47; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.6; P = .02; ΔALT level: regression, cOR, 0.7 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9; P = .002; progression, cOR, 1.0 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.9-1.2; P = .93; ΔNAS: regression, cOR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6-0.9; P = .001; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .01). Conclusions and Relevance: Improvement or worsening of disease activity may be associated with fibrosis regression or progression, respectively, in NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1912565
JournalJAMA Network Open
Volume2
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

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Aspartate Aminotransferases
Fibrosis
Odds Ratio
Aspartic Acid
Fatty Liver
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Alanine Transaminase
Biopsy
Databases
Inflammation
Liver
Research
Registries
Biomedical Research
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Insulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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Association of Histologic Disease Activity With Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. / Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network.

In: JAMA Network Open, Vol. 2, No. 10, 02.10.2019, p. e1912565.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network. / Association of Histologic Disease Activity With Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. In: JAMA Network Open. 2019 ; Vol. 2, No. 10. pp. e1912565.
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title = "Association of Histologic Disease Activity With Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease",
abstract = "Importance: The histologic evolution of the full spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and factors associated with progression or regression remain to be definitively established. Objective: To evaluate the histologic evolution of NAFLD and the factors associated with changes in disease severity over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort substudy from the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) NAFLD Database study, a noninterventional registry, was performed at 8 university medical research centers. Masked assessment of liver histologic specimens was performed, using a prespecified protocol to score individual biopsies. Participants included 446 adults with NAFLD enrolled in the NASH CRN Database studies between October 27, 2004, and September 13, 2013, who underwent 2 liver biopsies 1 or more year apart. Data analysis was performed from October 2016 to October 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Progression and regression of fibrosis stage, using clinical, laboratory, and histologic findings, including the NAFLD activity score (NAS) (sum of scores for steatosis, lobular inflammation, and ballooning; range, 0-8, with 8 indicating more severe disease). Results: A total of 446 adults (mean [SD] age, 47 [11] years; 294 [65.9{\%}] women) with NAFLD (NAFL, 86 [19.3{\%}]), borderline NASH (84 [18.8{\%}]), and definite NASH (276 [61.9{\%}]) were studied. Over a mean (SD) interval of 4.9 (2.8) years between biopsies, NAFL resolved in 11 patients (12.8{\%}) and progressed to steatohepatitis in 36 patients (41.9{\%}). Steatohepatitis resolved in 24 (28.6{\%}) of the patients with borderline NASH and 61 (22.1{\%}) of those with definite NASH. Fibrosis progression or regression by at least 1 stage occurred in 132 (30{\%}) and 151 [34{\%}] participants, respectively. Metabolic syndrome (20 [95{\%}] vs 108 [72{\%}]; P = .03), baseline NAS (mean [SD], 5.0 [1.4] vs 4.3 [1.6]; P = .005), and smaller reduction in NAS (-0.2 [2] vs -0.9 [2]; P < .001) were associated with progression to advanced (stage 3-4) fibrosis vs those without progression to stage 3 to 4 fibrosis. Fibrosis regression was associated with lower baseline insulin level (20 vs 33 μU/mL; P = .02) and decrease in all NAS components (steatosis grade -0.8 [0.1] vs -0.3 [0.9]; P < .001; lobular inflammation -0.5 [0.8] vs -0.2 [0.9]; P < .001; ballooning -0.7 [1.1] vs -0.1 [0.9]; P < .001). Only baseline aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were associated with fibrosis regression vs no change and progression vs no change on multivariable regression: baseline AST (regression: conditional odds ratio [cOR], 0.6 per 10 U/L AST; 95{\%} CI, 0.4-0.7; P < .001; progression: cOR, 1.3; 95{\%} CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .002). Changes in the AST level, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, and NAS were also associated with fibrosis regression and progression (ΔAST level: regression, cOR, 0.9; 95{\%} CI, 0.6-1.2; P = .47; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95{\%} CI, 1.0-1.6; P = .02; ΔALT level: regression, cOR, 0.7 per 10 U/L AST; 95{\%} CI, 0.5-0.9; P = .002; progression, cOR, 1.0 per 10 U/L AST; 95{\%} CI, 0.9-1.2; P = .93; ΔNAS: regression, cOR, 0.7; 95{\%} CI, 0.6-0.9; P = .001; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95{\%} CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .01). Conclusions and Relevance: Improvement or worsening of disease activity may be associated with fibrosis regression or progression, respectively, in NAFLD.",
author = "{Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network} and Kleiner, {David E.} and Brunt, {Elizabeth M.} and Wilson, {Laura A.} and Cynthia Behling and Cynthia Guy and Melissa Contos and Oscar Cummings and Matthew Yeh and Ryan Gill and Naga Chalasani and Neuschwander-Tetri, {Brent A.} and Diehl, {Anna Mae} and Srinivasan Dasarathy and Norah Terrault and Kris Kowdley and Rohit Loomba and Patricia Belt and James Tonascia and Lavine, {Joel E.} and Sanyal, {Arun J.}",
year = "2019",
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pages = "e1912565",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Association of Histologic Disease Activity With Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

AU - Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network

AU - Kleiner, David E.

AU - Brunt, Elizabeth M.

AU - Wilson, Laura A.

AU - Behling, Cynthia

AU - Guy, Cynthia

AU - Contos, Melissa

AU - Cummings, Oscar

AU - Yeh, Matthew

AU - Gill, Ryan

AU - Chalasani, Naga

AU - Neuschwander-Tetri, Brent A.

AU - Diehl, Anna Mae

AU - Dasarathy, Srinivasan

AU - Terrault, Norah

AU - Kowdley, Kris

AU - Loomba, Rohit

AU - Belt, Patricia

AU - Tonascia, James

AU - Lavine, Joel E.

AU - Sanyal, Arun J.

PY - 2019/10/2

Y1 - 2019/10/2

N2 - Importance: The histologic evolution of the full spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and factors associated with progression or regression remain to be definitively established. Objective: To evaluate the histologic evolution of NAFLD and the factors associated with changes in disease severity over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort substudy from the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) NAFLD Database study, a noninterventional registry, was performed at 8 university medical research centers. Masked assessment of liver histologic specimens was performed, using a prespecified protocol to score individual biopsies. Participants included 446 adults with NAFLD enrolled in the NASH CRN Database studies between October 27, 2004, and September 13, 2013, who underwent 2 liver biopsies 1 or more year apart. Data analysis was performed from October 2016 to October 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Progression and regression of fibrosis stage, using clinical, laboratory, and histologic findings, including the NAFLD activity score (NAS) (sum of scores for steatosis, lobular inflammation, and ballooning; range, 0-8, with 8 indicating more severe disease). Results: A total of 446 adults (mean [SD] age, 47 [11] years; 294 [65.9%] women) with NAFLD (NAFL, 86 [19.3%]), borderline NASH (84 [18.8%]), and definite NASH (276 [61.9%]) were studied. Over a mean (SD) interval of 4.9 (2.8) years between biopsies, NAFL resolved in 11 patients (12.8%) and progressed to steatohepatitis in 36 patients (41.9%). Steatohepatitis resolved in 24 (28.6%) of the patients with borderline NASH and 61 (22.1%) of those with definite NASH. Fibrosis progression or regression by at least 1 stage occurred in 132 (30%) and 151 [34%] participants, respectively. Metabolic syndrome (20 [95%] vs 108 [72%]; P = .03), baseline NAS (mean [SD], 5.0 [1.4] vs 4.3 [1.6]; P = .005), and smaller reduction in NAS (-0.2 [2] vs -0.9 [2]; P < .001) were associated with progression to advanced (stage 3-4) fibrosis vs those without progression to stage 3 to 4 fibrosis. Fibrosis regression was associated with lower baseline insulin level (20 vs 33 μU/mL; P = .02) and decrease in all NAS components (steatosis grade -0.8 [0.1] vs -0.3 [0.9]; P < .001; lobular inflammation -0.5 [0.8] vs -0.2 [0.9]; P < .001; ballooning -0.7 [1.1] vs -0.1 [0.9]; P < .001). Only baseline aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were associated with fibrosis regression vs no change and progression vs no change on multivariable regression: baseline AST (regression: conditional odds ratio [cOR], 0.6 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.4-0.7; P < .001; progression: cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .002). Changes in the AST level, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, and NAS were also associated with fibrosis regression and progression (ΔAST level: regression, cOR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.6-1.2; P = .47; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.6; P = .02; ΔALT level: regression, cOR, 0.7 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9; P = .002; progression, cOR, 1.0 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.9-1.2; P = .93; ΔNAS: regression, cOR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6-0.9; P = .001; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .01). Conclusions and Relevance: Improvement or worsening of disease activity may be associated with fibrosis regression or progression, respectively, in NAFLD.

AB - Importance: The histologic evolution of the full spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and factors associated with progression or regression remain to be definitively established. Objective: To evaluate the histologic evolution of NAFLD and the factors associated with changes in disease severity over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort substudy from the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) NAFLD Database study, a noninterventional registry, was performed at 8 university medical research centers. Masked assessment of liver histologic specimens was performed, using a prespecified protocol to score individual biopsies. Participants included 446 adults with NAFLD enrolled in the NASH CRN Database studies between October 27, 2004, and September 13, 2013, who underwent 2 liver biopsies 1 or more year apart. Data analysis was performed from October 2016 to October 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Progression and regression of fibrosis stage, using clinical, laboratory, and histologic findings, including the NAFLD activity score (NAS) (sum of scores for steatosis, lobular inflammation, and ballooning; range, 0-8, with 8 indicating more severe disease). Results: A total of 446 adults (mean [SD] age, 47 [11] years; 294 [65.9%] women) with NAFLD (NAFL, 86 [19.3%]), borderline NASH (84 [18.8%]), and definite NASH (276 [61.9%]) were studied. Over a mean (SD) interval of 4.9 (2.8) years between biopsies, NAFL resolved in 11 patients (12.8%) and progressed to steatohepatitis in 36 patients (41.9%). Steatohepatitis resolved in 24 (28.6%) of the patients with borderline NASH and 61 (22.1%) of those with definite NASH. Fibrosis progression or regression by at least 1 stage occurred in 132 (30%) and 151 [34%] participants, respectively. Metabolic syndrome (20 [95%] vs 108 [72%]; P = .03), baseline NAS (mean [SD], 5.0 [1.4] vs 4.3 [1.6]; P = .005), and smaller reduction in NAS (-0.2 [2] vs -0.9 [2]; P < .001) were associated with progression to advanced (stage 3-4) fibrosis vs those without progression to stage 3 to 4 fibrosis. Fibrosis regression was associated with lower baseline insulin level (20 vs 33 μU/mL; P = .02) and decrease in all NAS components (steatosis grade -0.8 [0.1] vs -0.3 [0.9]; P < .001; lobular inflammation -0.5 [0.8] vs -0.2 [0.9]; P < .001; ballooning -0.7 [1.1] vs -0.1 [0.9]; P < .001). Only baseline aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were associated with fibrosis regression vs no change and progression vs no change on multivariable regression: baseline AST (regression: conditional odds ratio [cOR], 0.6 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.4-0.7; P < .001; progression: cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .002). Changes in the AST level, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, and NAS were also associated with fibrosis regression and progression (ΔAST level: regression, cOR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.6-1.2; P = .47; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.6; P = .02; ΔALT level: regression, cOR, 0.7 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9; P = .002; progression, cOR, 1.0 per 10 U/L AST; 95% CI, 0.9-1.2; P = .93; ΔNAS: regression, cOR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6-0.9; P = .001; progression, cOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P = .01). Conclusions and Relevance: Improvement or worsening of disease activity may be associated with fibrosis regression or progression, respectively, in NAFLD.

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