Published online May 27, 2011. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.99
Revised: March 26, 2011
Accepted: April 2, 2011
Published online: May 27, 2011
Increased insulin resistance is frequently associated with chronic liver disease and is a pathophysiological feature of hepatogenous diabetes. Distinctive factors including hepatic parenchymal cell damage, portal-systemic shunting and hepatitis C virus are responsible for the development of hepatogenous insulin resistance/diabetes. Although it remains unclear whether insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells is impaired as it is in type 2 diabetes, retinopathic and cardiovascular risk is low and major causes of death in cirrhotic patients with diabetes are liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Hemoglobin A1c is an inaccurate marker for the assessment and management of hepatogenous diabetes. Moreover, exogenous insulin or sulfonylureas may be harmful because these agents may promote hepatocarcinogenesis. Thus, pathogenesis, cause of death, assessment and therapeutic strategy for hepatogenous insulin resistance/diabetes differ from those for lifestyle-related type 2 diabetes. In this article, we review features of insulin resistance in relationship to chronic liver disease. We also discuss the impact of anti-diabetic agents on interferon treatment and hepatocarcinogenesis.