- Stefano Ballestri, MD, PhD
- Internal Medicine Unit, Department of Internal and Rehabilitation Medicine, Hospital of Pavullo, AUSL Modena, Italy.
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- Alessandro Mantovani, MD, PhD
- Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University and Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata of Verona, Verona, Italy.
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Special Issue Introduction
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide, affecting approximately 30% of adults in the general population, up to 70% of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and almost all patients with severe obesity. At present, strong evidence strongly suggests that NAFLD is associated with an increased risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events. Consistently, cardiovascular disease (CVD) ranks first among the causes of mortality in NAFLD patients.
NAFLD has three key histological features: steatosis, inflammatory changes and fibrosis. Among these, it is liver fibrosis that seems to be more strongly associated with an increased risk of hepatic and extra-hepatic complications, including CVD. Based on these premises, the NAFLD pandemic is leading to a growing number of patients with advanced liver disease suffering from CVD and candidate for cardiovascular therapies.
Liver biopsy remains the "gold standard" for diagnosing and staging hepatic fibrosis, but this procedure is invasive and, hence, is reserved for a selected subgroup of specific patients. However, ongoing research on non-invasive markers of hepatic fibrosis has led to the identification of various biochemical markers of liver damage and imaging techniques that can be used for assessing the stage of hepatic fibrosis non-invasively. Among imaging techniques, elastometry (obtained with either ultrasonography or magnetic resonance) is currently considered the most accurate and available tool for the non-invasive staging of hepatic fibrosis.
The special issue is designed to highlighting the most recent advances in the relationship between liver fibrosis and CVD in patients with NAFLD. Potential topics to be discussed in this issue include:
- Non-invasive assessment of NAFLD fibrosis and cardiovascular risk
- Association of NAFLD histological changes and cardiovascular risk
- Pathomechanisms associating liver fibrosis and CVD in NAFLD
- Liver fibrosis, anticoagulation and cardiovascular risk in patients with NAFLD
- Antifibrotic therapy and cardiovascular risk in patients with NAFLD
- Assessment of the impact of cardio-metabolic therapies on liver fibrosis and cardiovascular risk in patients with NAFLD
Participants1. Enrica Baldelli, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
2. Stefano Ballestri, Department of Internal and Rehabilitation Medicine, Hospital of Pavullo, AUSL Modena, Italy.
3. Mariano Capitelli, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Pavullo, AUSL Modena, Italy.
4. Maria Di Girolamo, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Pavullo, AUSL Modena, Italy.
5. Amedeo Lonardo, Department of Internal Medicine, Ospedale Civile di Baggiovara, Modena, Italy.
6. Alessandro Mantovani, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University and Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata of Verona, Verona, Italy.
Submission Deadline 5 Sep 2023