Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common in children with obesity, present in nearly one-third of boys and one-fourth of girls, but NAFLD and obesity are not concomitant, according to a recent study. Researchers evaluated children aged 9-17 years with obesity for the presence of NAFLD. Diseases other than NAFLD were excluded by history and laboratories. Hepatic steatosis was measured by liver magnetic resonance imaging proton density fat fraction. They found:
- Included were 408 children with obesity that had a mean age of 13.2 years and mean body mass index percentile of 98.0.
- The study population had a mean alanine aminotransferase (ALT) of 32 U/L and median hepatic magnetic resonance imaging proton density fat fraction of 3.7%.
- The estimated prevalence of NAFLD was 26.0%, 29.4% in male patients and 22.6% in female patients.
- Optimal ALT cut-point was 42 U/L (47.8% sensitivity, 93.2% specificity) for male and 30 U/L (52.1% sensitivity, 88.8% specificity) for female patients.
Yu EL, Golshan S, Harlow KE, et al. Prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children with obesity. [Published online ahead of print December 14, 2018]. J Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.11.021.
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