High-sensitivity C-reactive protein as a serum predictor of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease based on the Akaike Information Criterion scoring system in the general Japanese population

J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(4):313-21. doi: 10.1007/s00535-009-0002-5. Epub 2009 Mar 7.


Background: High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has been developed and used as a marker to predict coronary vascular diseases in metabolic syndrome (MS). We investigated whether serum hs-CRP concentration was associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) based on the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) scoring system, using patients from the human dry dock program.

Methods: From 2004 to 2005, 1254 subjects visited our human dry dock annual checkup program. We excluded from this study individuals with markers of viral hepatitis and those whose alcohol consumption was more than 20 g/week. Finally, 230 subjects (93 men and 137 women) were investigated. Serum hs-CRP concentrations were measured using a highly sensitive latex agglutination assay system. The AIC scoring system with the CATDAP-20 program was introduced to evaluate the parameters that are present frequently in NAFLD.

Results: NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasound sonography in 35.4% of the men and 18.9% of the women. High serum hs-CRP concentrations were observed in women with NAFLD (normal: NAFLD = 0.45:1.47 mg/l, P < 0.05). Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body weight had the three lowest AIC score (P = 4.5e(-19) to 2.6e(-16)). hs-CRP was the third lowest variable among the serum markers associated with NAFLD (P = 2.3e(-6)) In addition, the hs-CRP concentration was correlated strongly with triglyceride values in females with NAFLD and with fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, and waist/hip ratio in males with NAFLD (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The serum hs-CRP concentration was a strong predictor for NAFLD with a low AIC score and correlated with serum markers that indicated lipid and glucose metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Fatty Liver / diagnosis*
  • Fatty Liver / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Latex Fixation Tests / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sex Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Triglycerides
  • C-Reactive Protein