Screening for liver disease using non-invasive biomarkers (FibroTest, SteatoTest and NashTest) in patients with hyperlipidaemia

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jan 15;25(2):207-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.03182.x.


Background: Mortality related to complications of cirrhosis is increasing in patients with insulin-resistance factors. Hyperlipidaemic patients have multiple risk factors of insulin resistance. It is impossible to perform liver biopsy in such a large number of hyperlipidaemic patients to identify patients with advanced liver fibrosis or with steatohepatitis (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH).

Aims: To use the non-invasive biomarkers, FibroTest (FT), SteatoTest and NashTest, and to assess the prevalence of advanced liver disease in a large population of hyperlipidaemic patients.

Methods: A consecutive cohort of hyperlipidaemic patients was followed prospectively in a lipid centre and the sera were analysed retrospectively.

Results: A total of 2834 subjects were included: 1909 hyperlipidaemic patients and 925 blood donors (BD). Advanced fibrosis was identified by FT in 53/1909 (2.8%) hyperlipidaemic patients vs. 0/925 BD (0%) (P < 0.0001); advanced steatosis in 569/1893 hyperlipidaemic patients (30.1%) vs. 8/164 (4.9%) BD (P < 0.0001) and NASH in 132/1893 (7%) vs. 0/164 (0%), respectively (P < 0.0001). There was a highly significant and linear association between the number of metabolic syndrome factors and liver disease prevalence - the highest being for type 2 diabetics: advanced steatosis 66%, NASH 24% and advanced fibrosis 6%. CONCLUSIONS The prevalence of fibrosis, steatosis and NASH in hyperlipidaemic patients appears to be high (3%, 30% and 7%, respectively). Biomarkers could be useful for screening of advanced fibrosis and NASH in patients with several metabolic syndrome factors, to prevent liver mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Liver Function Tests / standards*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers