Prevalence of elevated liver stiffness in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Stefano Ciardullo
    Corresponding author at: Department of Medicine and Surgery, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca & Department of Medicine and Rehabilitation, Policlinico di Monza, Via Modigliani 10, 20900 Monza (MB), Italy.
    Department of Medicine and Rehabilitation, Policlinico di Monza, Monza, Italy

    School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy
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  • Gianluca Perseghin
    Department of Medicine and Rehabilitation, Policlinico di Monza, Monza, Italy

    School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy
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      Background & Aims

      Liver stiffness is an indirect marker of liver fibrosis, which predicts clinical outcomes in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis is to summarize evidence on the prevalence of elevated liver stiffness in patients with diabetes.


      We systematically searched PubMed-MEDLINE and Scopus from inception to May 2022 for observational studies reporting the prevalence of elevated liver stiffness diagnosed by vibration controlled transient elastography (VCTE) in adult patients with either type 1 (T1D) or type 2 diabetes (T2D). Prevalence values from individual studies were meta-analyzed using random effects models. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed to identify potential sources of heterogeneity.


      Of the 428 titles initially scrutinized, 29 studies fulfilled the criteria and were included, providing data on 390 patients with T1D and 10,487 patients with T2D. Prevalence rates of elevated liver stiffness were 5.2% (95% CI 1.1–9.2) in patients with T1D and 19.8% (95% CI 16.8–22.8) in patients with T2D. In studies performed in patients with T2D, multivariate meta-regression analysis showed that higher body mass index, higher age, a higher proportion of males, lower VCTE cut-off and Asian ethnicity were associated with increased prevalence rates. This model explained 32.7% of the observed heterogeneity. No signs of publication bias were identified by visual inspection of the funnel plot or by Egger’s test.


      This meta-analysis indicates that 1 in 20 patients with T1D and 1 in 5 patients with T2D has elevated liver stiffness, indicative of potential significant or advanced liver fibrosis.


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