Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease before Kidney Transplantation Correlates with New Onset Diabetes and Poor Metabolic Outcomes

Ayelet Grupper*, Aviad Rabinowich, Idan Ben Shabat, Roie Tzadok, Doron Schwartz, Idit F. Schwartz, Yaacov Goykhman, Orit Kliuk Ben-Bassat, Roni Baruch, Moshe Shashar, Keren Cohen-Hagai, Helena Katchman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality after kidney transplantation. Metabolic syndrome is common in renal transplant recipients and is associated with increased CVD risk in those patients. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered to be the hepatic manifestation of a multi-system disorder, including CVD and metabolic syndrome. The data about prevalence of NAFLD before kidney transplantation and its consequences following transplantation are scarce. Methods: A retrospective study of metabolic parameters and sonographic evidence of NAFLD, and an analysis of its metabolic outcomes, was performed in 341 consecutive kidney transplant recipients. Results: One-hundred twenty-four (36.4%) kidney recipients had NAFLD before transplantation. The risk of NAFLD before kidney transplantation was independently and significantly related to diabetes (OR = 1.8), male gender (OR = 1.4), older age (every year of age increased the risk by 4%), higher BMI (every increase of 1 kg/m2 increased the risk by 15%), and higher triglycerides level. Mean levels of liver enzymes were similar in patients with and without NAFLD. Recipients with NAFLD before transplantation had a higher prevalence of new onset diabetes, even after adjustment to covariables. In addition, they had a higher increase in liver enzymes, triglycerides, and FIB-4 score, as an indication of liver fibrosis, after transplantation. Furthermore, NAFLD pre-Transplantation was independently associated with cardiovascular mortality (HR = 4.4) following kidney transplantation. Conclusions: Sonographic evidence of NAFLD before kidney transplantation is associated with significant metabolic outcomes including de novo diabetes and cardiovascular mortality following transplantation and should be included as part of the assessment of kidney transplant candidate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-645
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022


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