Background and aims: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is commonly associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Prevalence of NASH in type 2 DM has not been well studied and there is an epidemic rise in type 2 DM in Asian and Western populations. Its association with chronic liver disease in the form of NASH makes it an important health problem. Hence we have studied its prevalence and correlation of biochemical parameters with histological grades of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in otherwise asymptomatic type 2 DM patients.
Methods: One hundred and forty-eight individuals were screened. Forty-eight individuals were excluded due to history of alcohol intake or liver disease as a result of other causes. One hundred non-alcoholic individuals with type 2 DM underwent abdominal ultrasonography (US abdomen). Forty-nine patients had evidence of fatty liver on US abdomen, and 32 of these 49 patients underwent liver biopsy.
Results: Four of 32 (12.5%) individuals had steatosis alone. Mild, moderate and severe NASH was present in 21/32 (65.5%), 4/32 (12.5%) and 3/32 (9.35%), respectively. Fibrosis was present in 7/32 (21.8%) patients (four grade 1 and three grade 3). There was no significant difference in body mass index (BMI), transaminase levels, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels among patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Conclusion: We conclude that the prevalence of NASH is high in type 2 DM patients and liver biopsy is the only investigation to differentiate between non-alcoholic fatty liver and steatohepatitis.