Serum biomarker may predict coronary artery disease in NAFLD patients
High-sensitivity cardiac troponin may be used as a marker for predicting coronary artery disease risk in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
“Patients with NAFLD are at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In fact, cardiovascular mortality is the most common cause of death among NAFLD,” Zobair M. Younossi, MD, MPH, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD, president, Inova Medicine Services, told Healio Gastroenterology. “In this study, a simple serum biomarker may be able to identify NAFLD patients at risk for CVD.”
Younossi, who is also chairman of the department of medicine at the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, and colleagues enrolled 619 patients with or without NAFLD who underwent elective cardiac angiography. Participants’ average age was 63 ± 10 years; 80% were men; 31% had type 2 diabetes and 65% had NAFLD. Additionally, 42% of patients had severe coronary artery disease (CAD) and 57% had a risk for severe CAD.
Investigators used Atellica Solution assays (Siemens Healthineers) to measure cardiac biomarkers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI).
Study data showed patients with or without severe CAD had similar NAFLD prevalence (68% vs. 62%; P > .05). However, NAFLD patients with severe CAD or those at risk for severe CAD had higher levels of hs-cTnI than the control cohort (P < .001). Further, older age, male sex, aspects of metabolic syndrome and elevated hs-cTnI correlated with severe CAD or risk for severe CAD (P < .02 for all).
Younossi and colleagues concluded that, pending validation, hs-cTnI could be a useful marker for predicting CAD risk in NAFLD patients.