Background: "Bright" liver at ultrasonography predicts fatty liver.
Aim: To assess prevalence and predictors of a bright liver.
Methods: Prevalence arm--Prospective collection of records of unselected patients undergoing liver ultrasound. Protocol arm--A sample of patients with bright liver underwent routine laboratory investigations, liver tests, HBsAg (EIA) and anti-HCV (ELISA). Equipment--Grey scale real-time scanner. Bright liver diagnosed through the liver-kidney contrast. Statistics--Student's t-test; chi-square test; one-way analysis of variance; stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis, forward and backward.
Results: Prevalence arm--72 out of 363 (19.8%) cases had bright liver. Protocol arm--100 cases underwent laboratory evaluation. No difference was found in mean values of fasting plasma glucose, LDL cholesterol, apo A, Lp(a), uric acid, total bilirubin, GOT, GPT, AP, GGT, and serum bile acids or in the prevalence of serum HBsAg and anti-HCV in bright liver vs control groups. Univariate analysis showed body mass index, age, total cholesterol triglycerides, apo B, albumin, HDL cholesterol to be significantly different between cases and controls. However, the last 2 variables dropped out when logistic regression analysis was applied.
Conclusions: 1. Roughly 20% of Italian patients undergoing US for routine clinical practice will have a bright liver. 2. Body mass index, age, serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and apo B levels are the independent predictors of a bright liver.