Background and aims: Although hepatic steatosis (HS) has an association with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, an association with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate HS prevalence and risk factors, in HBV infection.
Methods: Standard guidelines for performance of meta-analyses were followed. Studies with HS assessed by histology were included. Pooled odd ratios (OR) and standardized mean differences (SMD) were obtained with the random-effects model and DerSimonian-Laid method.
Results: Seventeen out of 21 studies were included, comprising 4100 HBV infected patients. Overall HS prevalence was 29.6%. Eight studies also included 945 HCV infected patients, showing decreased risk of HS in HBV versus HCV patients (OR 0.55, 95%CI [0.45-0.67], P < 0.001). In HBV, HS positively associated with male gender (OR 1.74, 95%CI [1.28-2.38], P < 0.001), body mass index (SMD 2.17, 95%CI [1.23, 3.11], P < 0.001), obesity (OR 6.59, 95%CI [3.51-12.257], P = 0.003), diabetes (OR 2.62, 95%CI [1.37-4.00], P = 0.004), glycemia (SMD 0.84, 95%CI [0.00, 1.67], P = 0.049), triglycerides (SMD 1.18, 95%CI [0.48, 1.89], P = 0.001), cholesterol (SMD 0.88, 95%CI [0.31, 1.45], P = 0.003), moderate alcohol consumption (OR 1.54, 95%CI [1.10-2.15], P = 0.011) and negatively with HBV DNA (SMD -74.12, 95%CI [-82.93, -65.31], P < 0.001). HS had no association with aminotransferases, HBeAg, genotype or hepatic histology, necroinflammation or fibrosis.
Conclusion: HS in HBV seems to be as frequent as in the general population, and lower than in HCV infected patients, relating to metabolic factors but not with hepatic histology severity. A puzzling strong negative association between viral load and HS, may even suggest a protective effect of the virus on HS.
© 2011 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.