Subclinical cerebrovascular disease in NAFLD without overt risk factors for atherosclerosis

Lorena Airaghi, Mario Rango, Diletta Maira, Valentina Barbieri, Luca Valenti, Rosa Lombardi, Pietro Biondetti, Silvia Fargion, Anna Ludovica Fracanzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is recognized not only as part of the metabolic syndrome but also as an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. Methods In this study, NMR spectroscopy method, together with perfusion techniques, was used to detect subclinical brain vascular damage in subjects with NAFLD without overt atherosclerosis risk factors (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, obesity). Results The results suggest that subjects with histologically proven NAFLD have a reduced cerebral perfusion (CBFr) confined to limited brain areas, i.e., left semioval center and posterior cingulate cortex. No statistically significant differences in CBFr values were found, dividing the NAFLD cohort into subgroups, considering NAS score, presence/absence of NASH/fibrosis, and degree of steatosis. Conclusions Our data suggest that NAFLD per se may be involved in cerebral atherosclerotic disease. It will be interesting to draw longitudinal studies to determine whether these changes could evolve in more serious cerebral injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Subclinical cerebrovascular disease in NAFLD without overt risk factors for atherosclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this