Aim: To evaluate the noninvasive parameters and hepatic fibrosis scores in obese children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Methods: A total of 77 children diagnosed with NAFLD via liver biopsy were included and divided into 2 subgroups according to the histopathologic staging of hepatic fibrosis: mild (stage 0-1) vs significant fibrosis (stage 2-4). Clinical and laboratory parameters were evaluated in each patient. The aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio, AST/platelet ratio index (APRI), PGA index, Forns index, FIB-4, NAFLD fibrosis score, and pediatric NAFLD fibrosis index (PNFI) were calculated.
Results: No clinical or biochemical parameter exhibited a significant difference between patients with mild and significant fibrosis. Among noninvasive hepatic fibrosis scores, only APRI and FIB4 revealed a significant difference between patients with mild and significant fibrosis (APRI: 0.67 ± 0.54 vs 0.78 ± 0.38, P = 0.032 and FIB4: 0.24 ± 0.12 vs 0.31 ± 0.21, P = 0.010). The area under the receiving operating characteristic curve of FIB4 was 0.81, followed by Forns index (0.73), APRI (0.70), NAFLD fibrosis score (0.58), AST/ALT ratio (0.53), PGA score (0.45), and PNFI (0.41).
Conclusion: APRI and FIB4 might be useful noninvasive hepatic fibrosis scores for predicting hepatic fibrosis in children with NAFLD.
Keywords: Child; Fatty liver; Hepatic fibrosis; Noninvasive; Obesity.