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Meta-Analysis
, 15 (3), 502-511

Bariatric Surgery Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Contemporary Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Affiliations
Meta-Analysis

Bariatric Surgery Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Contemporary Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Tannous K Fakhry et al. Surg Obes Relat Dis.

Abstract

High-level evidence of the impact of bariatric surgery on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is lacking. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis according to the Cochrane guidelines to assess the resolution of NAFLD after bariatric surgery. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and CENTRAL for English language publications on bariatric surgery and NAFLD. We included randomized controlled trials and observational studies of patients with NAFLD who underwent bariatric surgery and were assessed by liver biopsy or liver function tests. Duodenal switch and biliopancreatic diversion were excluded. Our primary outcome was histologic or biochemical improvement of NAFLD. Twenty-one studies (12 Roux-en-Y gastric bypass [RYGB], 3 adjustable gastric banding, 2 sleeve gastrectomy, 1 vertical banded gastroplasty, 3 multiple procedures) enrolling 2374 patients were included. The pooled proportion of patients who had improvement of steatosis was 88% (95% confidence interval [CI]: .80, .94). Steatohepatitis improved in 59% (95% CI: .38, .78) and fibrosis improved or resolved in 30% of patients (95% CI: .21, .41). Similarly, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) improved in 32% of patients (95% CI: .22, .42) and alanine aminotransferase improved in 62% of patients (95% CI: .42, .82). After RYGB, the number of patients who had improvement in NAFLD was higher than the average of all the pooled studies. Bariatric surgery improves steatosis and steatohepatitis in the majority of patients and improves or resolves liver fibrosis in 30% of patients. RYGB has a greater impact on NAFLD histology compared with other procedures. This contemporary meta-analysis strongly suggests that bariatric surgery should be considered as a treatment of NAFLD.

Keywords: Adolescent obesity; Cirrhosis; Fatty liver; Fibrosis; Liver failure; Transplantation guidelines.

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