Serum markers in diagnostics of steatohepatitis

Authors: Barbora Nováková 1,2;  Radan Brůha 1
Authors‘ workplace: IV. interní klinika – klinika hepatologie a gastroenterologie 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 1;  Centrální výzkumné laboratoře ÚLBLD 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 2
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2019; 65(9): 577-582


Along with the increasing incidence and prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, the number of patients with its hepatic manifestation – NAFL, characterized by triglyceride storage in liver, is rising. NAFL (non-alcoholic fatty liver) is now, with the prevalence of 40 %, the most common liver disease in Western countries. Despite that NAFL has usually no symptoms and in most patients, it is diagnosed as an incidental finding by abdominal ultra­sound, every third of these patients develops NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), resulting in an individual progression of the sequence of fibrosis – cirrhosis – hepatocellular carcinoma. Due to the fact, that NASH is, along with the cardiovascular causes, involved in liver-related mortality of patients with the metabolic syndrome, from clinical view, it is fundamental to distinguish between benign NAFL and potentially progressive NASH. This appears even more serious realizing that patients with NASH are being often underdiagnosed because of limited indications of liver biopsy, a common diagnostically gold standard. This work emphasizes the relationship between metabolic syndrome and liver disease and presents the main diagnostic possibilities of NAFL/NASH, the most dealing with serum markers. It is based on a research, using the PubMed database and putting the key words as search terms. Considering the huge number of patients diagnosed with fatty liver, a non-invasive, widely approachable method should be established, to make the diagnostic and staging of progression of NASH broadly possible. A new method using LCMS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) analysis of serum lipids now fulfils these criteria, having high enough specificity and sensitivity, and have also been validated by comparing with a large cohort of patients diagnosed with liver biopsy.


LCMS analysis of serum lipidome – Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) – NAFL – NASH – serum markers

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