Table 1

Clinical and biochemical features of study population, grouped according to the presence/absence of NASH (n=80)

ParameterNAFLD (n=80)Not NASH (n=31)NASH (n=49)P value
NASH versus not NASH
Age (years)11.4±2.011.7±1.811.2±2.30.251
Gender n (%) males45 (56%)20 (65%)25 (51%)0.237
BMI (kg/m2)27.7±5.126.1±5.328.4±4.80.027
BMI z-score1.95±0.571.72±0.592.11±0.510.003
Obese subjects n (%)*59 (73%)18 (58%)41 (83%)0.017
Waist circumference (cm)89.4±4.689.2±5.289.6±4.40.793
Waist circumference z-score1.99±0.781.92±0.752.04±0.730.486
Systolic BP (mm Hg)112±12114±15111±120.323
Diastolic BP (mm Hg)67±768±968±80.793
Insulin (μU/mL)13.8±9.615.7±10.412.7±9.10.172
Glucose (mg/dL)86±1486±1285±160.815
Triglyceride (mg/dL)113±61100±49120±750.199
Total cholesterol (mg/dL)160±34155±23163±360.146
HDL-C (mg/dL)44±643±842±70.616
Diabetes n (%)2 (2%)0%2 (4%)0.512
Metabolic syndrome n (%)13 (16%)3 (10%)10 (20%)0.431
Abdominal obesity n (%)†50 (63%)20 (65%)30 (61%)0.814
Hypertension n (%)11 (14%)5 (16%)6 (12%)0.638
Hypertriglyceridemia n (%)22 (28%)6 (19%)16 (33%)0.298
Low HDL-C n (%)22 (27%)11 (35%)11 (22)0.542
IFG/diabetes n (%)14 (18%)5 (16%)9 (18%)0.874
Adiponectin (ng/mL)21.51±2.1922.89±2.2320.63±1.55<0.001
Resistin (pg/mL)33 755 ±37 36329 505 ±12 25737 233 ±29 4240.170
RBP (mg/mL)3.15±1.133.07±1.113.19±1.150.646
C-reactive protein (mg/L)1.6±0.51.5±0.41.6±0.40.617
IL-6 (pg/mL)11.3±5.711.2±5.711.3±5.90.621
Leptin (ng/mL)19.3±8.919.5±7.719.1±9.70.876
TNF-α (pg/mL)6.8±2.46.8±2.16.7±2.30.834
L/M ratio0.04±0.040.02±0.020.06±0.04<0.001
Pathological L/M ratio n (%)28 (35%)2 (6%)26 (53%)<0.001
LPS (EU/mL)2.47±0.621.84±0.402.92±0.25<0.001
OSAS n (%)52 (63%)5 (16%)47 (95%)<0.001
Severe OSAS n (%)‡23 (29%)0%23 (47%)<0.001
AHI (events/h)3.45±3.210.89±0.815.06±3.96<0.001
TST (h)7.9±0.67.8±0.88.0±0.90.238
Mean SaO2 (%)95.9±1.096.1±0.995.9±1.10.266
Nadir SaO2 (%)88.5±1.891.8±1.286.5±1.8<0.001
SaO2 <90% (%TST)34.3±37.718.7±18.640.5±37.4<0.001
ETpCO2 (mm Hg)47.3±6.544.4±3.649.1±7.1<0.001
AST (IU/L)37±1733±1539±150.085
ALT (IU/L)41±1834±1645±160.011
GGT (IU/L)22±1517±725±110.001
CK18 (U/L)280±80195±36338±42<0.001
Hyaluronic acid (ng/mL)1308±5531052±4651464±547<0.001
  • Data are reported as mean±SD, unless otherwise specified. Differences were considered statistically significant at p<0.05. Statistically significant differences are highlighted in bold.

  • Pathological L/M ratio: an L/M ratio ≥0.03 between fractional excretion of lactulose and the fractional excretion of mannitol was considered abnormal.

  • *Obesity: BMI≥95th percentile.

  • †Abdominal obesity: waist circumference ≥90th percentile for age and sex.

  • ‡Severe OSAS: AHI ≥5 events/h.

  • AHI (apnoea/hypopnoea index), number of apnoea/hypopnoeas per hour of sleep; ALT, alanine transaminase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; BMI, body mass index; BP, blood pressure; CK18, cytokeratin-18 fragments; ETpCO2, mean end-tidal pCO2; GGT, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase; HDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; HOMA-IR, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; IL, interleukin; ISI, insulin sensitivity index; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; ODI, oxygen desaturation index; OSAS, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome; RBP, retinol-binding protein; SaO2 <90%, total duration of haemoglobin desaturation, expressed as %TST; TNF, tumour necrosis factor; TST, total sleep time (min).