The prognosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is determined by liver biopsy.
Steatohepatitis can be progressive whereas fatty liver is benign.
Insulin resistance and increased hepatic-free fatty acids are central to the pathophysiology of this disorder.
Dr Ian Bookman and colleagues from Canada assessed whether serum-free fatty acids, lipoproteins, and insulin resistance are increased in steatohepatitis.
These may be potential noninvasive markers for liver disease severity.
The researchers compared patients with fatty liver and healthy controls.
The team enrolled 15 subjects with biopsy proven nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, 15 with histological fatty liver, and 15 healthy controls.
|Free fatty acids were similar in all groups|
Fasting serum glucose and insulin levels, serum-free fatty acids, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, and cholesterol were collected.
The researchers calculated insulin resistance using the homeostasis assessment model.
The research team found that insulin resistance, lipoprotein, and cholesterol-to-high lipoprotein ratio values were significantly higher in steatohepatitis.
However, high density lipoprotein was significantly lower compared with both fatty liver and controls.
The team observed that free fatty acids were similar in all groups.
Dr Bookman's team concluded, “Along with insulin resistance, serum low density lipoprotein, and cholesterol-to-high density lipoprotein ratio values increase with worsening severity of liver histology and serum high density lipoprotein values decline.”
“Free fatty acids, however, do not vary between groups.”