Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease : Can ultrasound assist in early diagnosis of prediabetes and delay progression to type2 diabetes mellitus
Kennedy, Gillian (2009) Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease : Can ultrasound assist in early diagnosis of prediabetes and delay progression to type2 diabetes mellitus. Sound Effects. (In Press)
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a condition that is frequently seen but seldom investigated. Until recently, NAFLD was considered benign, self-limiting and unworthy of further investigation. This opinion is based on retrospective studies with relatively small numbers and scant follow-up of histology data. (1) The prevalence for adults, in the USA is, 30%, and NAFLD is recognized as a common and increasing form of liver disease in the paediatric population (1). Australian data, from New South Wales, suggests the prevalence of NAFLD in “healthy” 15 year olds as being 10%.(2)
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition where fat progressively invades the liver parenchyma. The degree of infiltration ranges from simple steatosis (fat only) to steatohepatitis (fat and inflammation) steatohepatitis plus fibrosis (fat, inflammation and fibrosis) to cirrhosis (replacement of liver texture by scarred, fibrotic and non functioning tissue).Non-alcoholic fatty liver is diagnosed by exclusion rather than inclusion. None of the currently available diagnostic techniques -liver biopsy, liver function tests (LFT) or Imaging; ultrasound, Computerised tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are specific for non-alcoholic fatty liver.
An association exists between NAFLD, Non Alcoholic Steatosis Hepatitis (NASH) and irreversible liver damage, cirrhosis and hepatoma. However, a more pervasive aspect of NAFLD is the association with Metabolic Syndrome. This Syndrome is categorised by increased insulin resistance (IR) and NAFLD is thought to be the hepatic representation. Those with NAFLD have an increased risk of death (3) and it is an independent predictor of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (1).
Liver biopsy is considered the gold standard for diagnosis, (4), and grading and staging, of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Fatty-liver is diagnosed when there is macrovesicular steatosis with displacement of the nucleus to the edge of the cell and at least 5% of the hepatocytes are seen to contain fat (4).Steatosis represents fat accumulation in liver tissue without inflammation. However, it is only called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease when alcohol - >20gms-30gms per day (5), has been excluded from the diet. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver are identical on histology. (4).LFT’s are indicative, not diagnostic. They indicate that a condition may be present but they are unable to diagnosis what the condition is. When a patient presents with raised fasting blood glucose, low HDL (high density lipoprotein), and elevated fasting triacylglycerols they are likely to have NAFLD. (6)
Of the imaging techniques MRI is the least variable and the most reproducible.
With CT scanning liver fat content can be semi quantitatively estimated. With increasing hepatic steatosis, liver attenuation values decrease by 1.6 Hounsfield units for every milligram of triglyceride deposited per gram of liver tissue (7).
Ultrasound permits early detection of fatty liver, often in the preclinical stages before symptoms are present and serum alterations occur. Earlier, accurate reporting of this condition will allow appropriate intervention resulting in better patient health outcomes.
1. Chalasami N. Does fat alone cause significant liver disease: It remains unclear whether simple steatosis is truly benign. American Gastroenterological Association Perspectives, February/March 2008
www.gastro.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5097 Viewed 20th October, 2008
2. Booth, M. George, J.Denney-Wilson, E: The population prevalence of adverse concentrations with adiposity of liver tests among Australian adolescents. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.2008 November
3. Catalano, D, Trovato, GM, Martines, GF, Randazzo, M, Tonzuso, A. Bright liver, body composition and insulin resistance changes with nutritional intervention: a follow-up study .Liver Int.2008; February 1280-9
4. Choudhury, J, Sanysl, A. Clinical aspects of Fatty Liver Disease. Semin in
Liver Dis. 2004:24 (4):349-62
5. Dionysus Study Group. Drinking factors as cofactors of risk for alcohol induced liver change. Gut. 1997; 41 845-50
6. Preiss, D, Sattar, N. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: an overview of prevalence, diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment considerations. Clin Sci.2008; 115 141-50
7. American Gastroenterological Association. Technical review on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Gastroenterology.2002; 123: 1705-25
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Additional Information:||Access to the accepted manuscript version is currently restricted pending permission from the publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see Official URL) or contact the author.|
|Keywords:||Non alcoholic Fatty Liver, Ultrasound imaging, Prediabetes|
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology|
Past > Schools > School of Physical & Chemical Sciences
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2009 please consult author|
|Deposited On:||10 Jul 2009 11:36|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 23:53|
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