1Department of Gastroenterology, Lozano Blesa University Hospital, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain.
2Aragón Health Research Institute (IIS Aragón), 50009 Zaragoza, Spain.
3School of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain.
4CIBER for Liver and Digestive Diseases (CIBERehd), 28029 Madrid, Spain.
The aim of the systematic review is to assess the prevalence and risk factors of liver fibrosis in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and to discuss the role of liver fibrosis in the progression to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We performed a structured search in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Scopus up to 3 March 2023 to identify observational studies reporting liver fibrosis in patients with NAFLD and IBD. Quality of studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) score. A total of 23 studies met our inclusion criteria, including 629,781 patients. A total of 10 cross-sectional, 3 case-control, and 10 cohort studies were included. Fourteen studies had a NOS score ≥ 7 points. NAFLD was diagnosed in 2162/6332 (34.1%) IBD participants. However, NAFLD diagnosis was established in 924/2962 (31.2%) healthy individuals without IBD. Advanced liver fibrosis was found in 116 (11.6%) of 992 IBD patients with NAFLD. Most studies found an association between NAFLD and classic cardiovascular risk factors such as older age, male sex, higher BMI, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. In addition, metabolic syndrome features were also associated with an increased risk of significant and advanced liver fibrosis. Although no strong association between NAFLD and IBD therapy was reported, some studies associated NAFLD with IBD diagnosis, Crohn's Disease, a complicated course of IBD, disease activity, and IBD duration. Advanced liver fibrosis was also associated with Crohn's disease in several studies. In conclusion, NAFLD and advanced liver fibrosis are prevalent and clinically relevant extraintestinal manifestations, so its diagnosis and potential progression to HCC should be carefully considered in daily clinical practice.