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Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease And Fatigue In Long-term Survivors Of Childhood-onset Craniopharyngioma

Anika Hoffmann, Klaus Bootsveld, Ursel Gebhardt, Anna M M Daubenbüchel, Anthe S Sterkenburg, Hermann L Müller

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ObjectiveHypothalamic obesity in childhood craniopharyngioma (CP) patients carries a high risk for development of metabolic syndrome. In metabolic syndrome, the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is known. The aim of this study is to detect the risk for NAFLD in childhood-onset CP.DesignThis cross-sectional study included liver computed tomography (CT); ultrasound analysis of abdomen; measurements of serum parameters, height, weight and body composition; and daily medication of patients with childhood-onset CP.MethodsA total of 384 patients recruited in trials HIT Endo and KRANIOPHARYNGEOM 2000 were analyzed. Ninety-four survivors were included by fulfilling the criteria of proven hypothalamic involvement (HI), a minimum time interval of 5 years between diagnosis and study, and a minimum age of 18 years at the time of evaluation. A total of 19 patients agreed to participate. To quantify the degree of steatosis hepatis, analyses of liver density were performed once by non-contrasted CT of liver sections.ResultsNAFLD occurs in about 50% of CP patients with HI and is associated with elevated liver enzymes and homeostasis model assessment index. BMI is not an effective predictive factor but body fat mass measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is. Over half of CP patients (60%) with NAFLD are treated with stimulating agents, with risk of hepatic side effects.ConclusionsNAFLD is a major adverse late effect in childhood-onset CP. NIRS rather than BMI should be used to measure body composition and predict NAFLD. Stimulating agents for treatment of fatigue and daytime sleepiness in CP should be prescribed judiciously.