Comparison of liver enzymes level and sonographic findings value with liver biopsy findings in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients

Adv Biomed Res. 2016 Mar 16;5:40. doi: 10.4103/2277-9175.178785. eCollection 2016.


Background: This study aimed to examine the relationship between sonographic diagnosis of fatty liver and liver enzyme level with histopathologic abnormalities and liver biopsy findings in patient with the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study conducted on 109 patients with diagnosed and under treatment NAFLD refer to Gastroenterology Clinics of AL Zahra Hospital in Isfahan, Iran. Age, sex, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level recorded for all patients. Liver ultrasonography was performed for all patients. Steatosis grading and fibrosis stage were evaluated by liver biopsy.

Results: We enrolled 109 subjects with NAFLD who had an indication for liver biopsy and met inclusion criteria of our study. Of these, 78 subjects (71.6%) were male and 31 subjects (28.4) were female. Mean age was 40.17 ± 11.01 years old. Our results showed there was a statistically significant relationship between ultrasonographic findings and histologic findings based on biopsy. There was statistically significant relationship between liver enzyme (ALT, AST and ALP) level and ultrasonographic findings, but there was no significant relationship between AST and ALT level and histologic findings, but the relationship between ALP level and histologic findings (steatosis and fibrosis) was statistically significant (P = 0.01).

Conclusion: Ultrasonographic finding may be can use to identify nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and stage of fibrosis in patients with NAFLD, but AST and ALT level is not reliable screening test to identify stage of fibrosis and steatosis in these patients. Therefore, liver biopsy remains the gold standard for establishing steatohepatitis and advanced fibrosis in patients with NAFLD.

Keywords: Fibrosis; liver biopsy; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.