Hyperuricemia is not associated with severity of liver fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background

Uric acid is a natural antioxidant. Previous studies have suggested a protective role of hyperuricemia against liver fibrosis among patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the results were conflicting.

Methods

MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched through August 2016 for studies that investigated the association between hyperuricemia and fibrosis stage among patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Pooled odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were calculated using a random-effects model, generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird. The between-study heterogeneity of effect size was quantified using the Q statistic and I2.

Results

A total of five observational studies with 749 NAFLD patients were identified. Patients with NAFLD who had hyperuricemia were not significantly more likely or less likely to have advanced liver fibrosis (defined as fibrosis stage of ≥3) compared with patients with NAFLD who had normal serum uric with the pooled odds ratio of 0.72 (95% confidence interval: 0.34–1.53). The statistical heterogeneity was low with an I2 of 22% (Pheterogeneity=0.27).

Conclusion

Significant protective role of hyperuricemia against the development of advanced liver fibrosis in patients with NAFLD was not observed in this meta-analysis.

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