Evidence suggests that NAFLD might be a heritable disease, but the risk of advanced fibrosis in first-degree relatives of probands with NAFLD and cirrhosis was previously unknown. Caussy et al. performed a prospective analysis of 26 patients with NAFLD and cirrhosis plus their 39 first-degree relatives, along with a control population of individuals without evidence of NAFLD (n = 69) and their first-degree relatives (n = 69). Advanced fibrosis, diagnosed using magnetic resonance elastography, was significantly (P = 0.0032) more prevalent in first-degree relatives of probands than those in the control population. Additionally, the risk of advanced fibrosis was ∼12 times higher (95% CI 1.1–146.1, P = 0.0438) in proband first-degree relatives than relatives in the control group, even after multivariable adjustment. These findings suggest fibrosis screening could be considered in relatives of patients with NAFLD and cirrhosis.
Caussy, C. et al. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with cirrhosis increases familial risk for advanced fibrosis. J. Clin. Invest. http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI93465 (2017)
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Dickson, I. Increased familial risk of fibrosis in NAFLD. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 14, 450 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrgastro.2017.95