Increased mediastinal fat and impaired left ventricular energy metabolism in young men with newly found fatty liver

Gianluca Perseghin, Guido Lattuada, Francesco De Cobelli, Antonio Esposito, Elena Belloni, Georgia Ntali, Francesca Ragogna, Tamara Canu, Paola Scifo, Alessandro Del Maschio, Livio Luzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fatty liver is characterized by metabolic abnormalities at the liver, but also at skeletal muscle and adipose tissue sites. It is hypothesized that the heart may be suffering metabolic alterations, and this study was undertaken to ascertain whether individuals with fatty liver have left ventricular (LV) alterations of energy metabolism, structure, and function and abnormal amounts of epicardial fat as a specific marker of visceral fat accumulation. To this end we studied young, nondiabetic men matched for anthropometric features with (n = 21) or without (n = 21) fatty liver by means of (1) cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); (2) cardiac 31P-MR spectroscopy (MRS); and (3) hepatic 1H-MRS to assess quantitatively the intrahepatic fat (IHF) content. Insulin sensitivity was determined by the updated HOMA-2 computer model. Individuals with fatty liver showed reduced insulin sensitivity, increased serum free fatty acid (FFA), and E-selectin, abnormal adipokine concentrations, and higher blood pressure. LV morphology and systolic and diastolic functions were not different; however, in the scanned intrathoracic region, the intrapericardial (7.8 ± 3.1 versus 5.9 ± 2.5 cm 2; P <0.05) and extrapericardial (11.7 ± 6.1 versus 7.8 ± 3.2 cm 2; P <0.03) fat was increased in men with fatty liver compared with those without fatty liver. 1The phosphocreatine (PCr)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio, a recognized in vivo marker of myocardial energy metabolism, was reduced in men with fatty liver in comparison with normals (1.85 ± 0.35 versus 2.11 ± 0.31; P <0.016). In conclusion, in newly found individuals with fatty liver, fat was accumulated in the epicardial area and despite normal LV morphological features and systolic and diastolic functions, they had abnormal LV energy metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased mediastinal fat and impaired left ventricular energy metabolism in young men with newly found fatty liver'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this