Objective: To investigate the relationships between visceral obesity and hepatic steatosis in obese patients undergoing adjustable silicone gastric banding with the LAP-BAND.
Research methods and procedures: Six premenopausal, morbidly obese women with an ultrasonographic diagnosis of liver steatosis were evaluated before surgery and 8 and 24 weeks after surgery. Liver volume and body fat distribution were simultaneously analyzed by total-body multislices magnetic resonance imaging.
Results: Before surgery, the only variable found to be correlated with liver volume was visceral adipose tissue volume (r = 0.91; p < 0.01). Weight loss was 9.9 +/- 3.8 kg in the period from 0 to 8 weeks (p < 0.01) and 7.1 +/- 4.9 kg in the the period from 8 to 24 weeks (p < 0.05). Total fat showed a statistically significant reduction of 6.2 +/- 4.0 liters in the 0- to 8-week period and a further significant reduction of 7.7 +/- 3.9 liters in the 8- to 24-week period. Visceral adipose tissue showed a statistically significant reduction of 1.0 +/- 0.9 liters in the 0- to 8-week period (p < 0.05) but only a further, not significant reduction of 0.6 +/- 0.7 liters in the 8- to 24-week period. The relative reduction of visceral fat in the 0-to 8-week period was higher than the relative reduction of total fat. Liver volume also showed a statistically significant reduction of 0.24 +/- 0.26 liters in the first phase of weight loss (p < 0.05), corresponding to a relative reduction of 12.3 +/- 10.6%. During the 8- to 24-week period, liver volume was substantially stable.
Discussion: Hepatomegaly was associated with visceral obesity in morbidly obese women with liver steatosis. In the phase of rapid weight loss after gastric surgery, a preferential mobilization of visceral fat, compared with total adipose tissue, occurred. This preferential visceral fat loss was associated with a significant reduction in liver volume.