Hepatic effects of dietary weight loss in morbidly obese subjects

J Hepatol. 1991 Mar;12(2):224-9. doi: 10.1016/0168-8278(91)90942-5.


This prospective study was carried out in order to evaluate the influence on liver morphology and function of a very-low-calorie formula diet. Fourty-one morbidly obese, non-alcoholic subjects had liver biopsy performed before and after a median weight loss of 34 kg. Fatty change improved (p less than 0.001), but 24% of the patients developed slight portal inflammation (p = 0.039) or slight portal fibrosis (p = 0.063). Patients developing portal fibrosis had a higher degree of fatty change at entry (p = 0.029), a more pronounced reduction of fatty change (p = 0.014) and a faster weight loss (p = 0.026). Liver biochemistry, which was of no individual diagnostic value, improved. It is concluded that morbidly obese subjects with a high degree of hepatic fatty change are at risk of developing portal inflammation and fibrosis when undergoing very fast dietary weight reductions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet, Reducing* / adverse effects
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Female
  • Hepatitis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / diet therapy*
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism
  • Obesity, Morbid / pathology
  • Prospective Studies