Non-invasive Diagnosis of Fibrosis in Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

2012 Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology 2;2 (145-155)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in developed as well as in developing countries. Its prevalence continues to rise currently affecting approximately 20-30% of adults and 10% of children in the United States. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease represents a wide spectrum of conditions ranging from fatty liver, which in general follows a benign non-progressive clinical course, to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a more serious form of NAFLD that may progress to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. Liver biopsy remains the gold standard for evaluating the degree of hepatic necroinflammation and fibrosis; however, several non-invasive investigations, such as serum biomarkers, have been developed to establish the diagnosis and also to evaluate treatment response. There has been a substantial development of non-invasive risk scores, biomarker panels, and radiological modalities to identify at risk patients with NAFLD without recourse to liver biopsy on a routine basis. Examples include combination of serum markers like NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), BARD score, fibrometer, FIB4, and non-invasive tools like fibroscan which assess fibrosis in patients with NAFLD. Other markers of fibrosis that have been evaluated include high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, plasma pentraxin 3, interleukin-6, and cytokeratin-18. This review focuses on the methods currently available in daily clinical practice in hepatology and touches briefly on the potential future markers under investigation.

Pubmed : 25755423