New index for reliable diagnosis of fatty liver disease

New index for reliable diagnosis of fatty liver disease

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Fatty liver diseases will be easier to diagnose in the future with a new index
Liver disease is a relatively widespread complaint these days, with massive alcohol consumption in particular being considered a decisive factor for a long time. But non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has also become a global epidemic, reports the German Center for Diabetes Research. A new index, which scientists from the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) in Tübingen and Potsdam have developed, will enable reliable prediction of the disease.

Worldwide, there is not only great interest in understanding the causes and consequences of fatty liver disease, but also in enabling early diagnosis, the scientists report. The research team led by Prof. Norbert Stefan from the University of Tübingen has now generated a new index from clinical data. This can predict the presence of fatty liver disease with high accuracy, according to the DZD.

Fatty liver disease with serious consequences
According to the experts, roughly one in three adults in industrialized countries has an abnormally fatty liver. Those affected not only show an increased risk of developing advanced liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, but also develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In order to be able to intervene with preventive and therapeutic measures at an early stage, the fatty liver must be recognized in good time, the experts emphasize.

Current diagnostic methods are inadequate
According to the researchers, the ultrasound examination of the liver and the determination of the liver values ​​are possible diagnostic methods. You can usually only diagnose the fatty liver at an advanced stage. More complex investigations such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy are more meaningful, but cannot be used on a broad scale due to the relatively high costs in everyday clinical practice.

Early diagnosis index
Scientists worldwide are working on simple and precise methods for diagnosing fatty liver. So far, the so-called "Fatty Liver Index" (FLI), consisting of the parameters age, body mass index, waist circumference and the fasting blood values ​​for triglycerides (TG) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) , proved to be quite effective, the researchers report.

Significantly improved accuracy
The scientists from Tübingen and their colleagues from Hamburg and Italy have now developed an improved FLI. For this purpose, the TG and glucose values ​​from an oral glucose tolerance test at the time two hours after taking the glucose had been taken into account as additional parameters. The most important gene variant for fatty liver (rs738409 C> G in PNPLA3) is also recorded in the new index. The researchers were able to show that this new and expanded fatty liver index can not only diagnose fatty liver better than the known FLI, "it can also predict the likelihood of a decrease in liver fat during a lifestyle intervention," reports the DZD.

Use in everyday clinical practice
The researchers hope that in the future the expanded "Index will increasingly be used in everyday clinical practice to diagnose fatty liver disease at an early stage" and "thus prevent secondary diseases of fatty liver." In addition to the scientists from the University Hospital in Tübingen, researchers from the Institute for Diabetes Research were also involved and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Institute for Nutritional Research Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE). (fp)

Author and source information

Video: Obstructive sleep apnoea u0026 fatty liver disease. Dr Jonathan Hazlehurst (August 2022).