Hepatic steatosis in patients undergoing bariatric surgery and its relationship to body mass index and co-morbidities

Obes Surg. 2003 Aug;13(4):622-4. doi: 10.1381/096089203322190853.


Background: Although non-alcoholic hepatitis usually is asymptomatic and benign, this condition may progress to cirrhosis and hepatic failure. Some findings are similar to alcoholic hepatitis, but there is no history of excessive alcohol consumption. Among the factors associated with non-alcoholic hepatitis, obesity, diabetes and dyslipidemia are the most important.

Methods: 77 consecutive patients undergoing bariatric surgery had their liver biopsy compared to the presence of co-morbidities and BMI.

Results: 67 patients (87.1%) had an abnormal liver biopsy, mostly due to steatosis (83.1%), but also steatohepatitis (2.6%) and cirrhosis (1.3%). The degree of liver damage was related to higher BMI scores. Co-morbidities were present in 46.9% of the patients with hepatic steatosis.

Conclusions: The authors suggest that a liver biopsy should be performed in all patients at bariatric surgery, in order to evaluate possible liver damage and to assist postoperative care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Fatty Liver / etiology*
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass*
  • Hepatitis / etiology*
  • Hepatitis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications*
  • Obesity, Morbid / pathology
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index