Purpose: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is associated with the presence and severity of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). We aimed to investigate the relationship between the severity of OSA and NAFLD and to recognize a polysomnographic parameter correlated with progression of fibrosis, determined by a non-invasive score of liver fibrosis, FIBrosis-4 index (FIB-4), in patients affected by severe obesity and OSA.
Methods: We enrolled 334 patients (Body Mass Index, BMI 44.78 ± 8.99 kg/m2), divided into classes according to severity of OSA evaluated with Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI): OSAS 0 or absent (17%), mild OSA (26%), moderate OSA (20%), severe OSAS (37%). We studied anthropometric, polysomnographic, biochemical data and FIB-4. A multiple regression model was computed to identify a polysomnographic independent predictor of FIB-4 among those parameters previously simple correlated with FIB-4.
Results: The severity of OSA was associated with a decrease in High-Density Lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) and an increase in BMI, triglycerides, Homeostasis model assessment insulin-resistance index (HOMA), transaminases and FIB-4. FIB-4 correlated with sex, age, BMI, AHI, mean percentage oxyhaemoglobin (meanSaO2%), number of desaturations, platelets, transaminases, HDL, triglycerides and HOMA. The only variables independently related to FIB-4 were sex, BMI, triglycerides and meanSpO2 (r = 0.47, AdjRsqr = 0.197).
Conclusion: MeanSpO2% represented an independent determinant for the worsening of FIB-4 in patients with severe obesity and OSA. Hence, it could hypothesize a clinical role of meanSaO2% in recognizing patients with obesity and OSA and higher risk of developing advanced fibrosis and, thus, to undergo further investigation.
Level iii: Evidence obtained from well-designed cohort analytic studies.
Keywords: FIB-4; Fibrosis; Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Obesity; Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.