Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis

J Hepatol. 2009 Oct;51(4):758-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.04.020. Epub 2009 May 27.


Background/aims: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and chronic plaque psoriasis are both associated with metabolic syndrome and increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease. We assessed the frequency and characteristics of NAFLD in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis.

Methods: One hundred and thirty consecutive patients with chronic plaque psoriasis and 260 apparently healthy controls matched for age, sex and body mass index were enrolled. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound after excluding other secondary causes of chronic liver disease.

Results: The frequency of NAFLD was remarkably greater in psoriasis patients than in controls (47% vs. 28%; p<0.0001). Patients with psoriasis and NAFLD (n=61) were more likely to have metabolic syndrome and had higher serum C-reactive protein concentrations and greater severity of psoriasis according to the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score (14.2+/-12.6 vs. 9.6+/-7.4; p<0.01) than those with psoriasis alone (n=69). In a subgroup of psoriasis patients (n=43), those with NAFLD (n=21) also had significantly higher serum interleukin-6 and lower serum adiponectin levels. Notably, in multivariate regression analysis, NAFLD was associated with higher PASI score independently of age, gender, body mass index, psoriasis duration, and alcohol consumption.

Conclusions: NAFLD is frequent in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis - affecting up to nearly half of these patients - and is strongly associated with psoriasis severity. Early recognition of NAFLD by radiological imaging tests in this group of patients is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adult
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatty Liver / blood
  • Fatty Liver / complications*
  • Fatty Liver / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / blood
  • Psoriasis / complications*
  • Psoriasis / pathology


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein