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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


DUARTE, Maria Amélia S. M.  and  SILVA, Giselia Alves Pontes da. Hepatic steatosis in obese children and adolescents. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.2, pp.150-156. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the frequency of hepatic steatosis and metabolic syndrome among obese children and adolescents. METHOD: A descriptive case series was conducted with 77 patients, aged 2 to 13 years and 11 months, who were followed up from February to July 2007. Obesity was defined as body mass index > P95 adjusted for age and sex. Liver ultrasound was performed to diagnose hepatic steatosis. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the modified criteria suggested by Cook et al. RESULTS: Hepatic steatosis was diagnosed in 33/77 patients (42.9%), 25/33 (75.8%) with mild steatosis and 8/33 (24.2%) with moderate steatosis. Those aged less than 10 years showed only mild steatosis, and the moderate degree of the disease was restricted to adolescents. Aminotransferase alterations were found in 9.1% (3/33) of patients with hepatic steatosis and in 4.9% (2/41) of those without the disorder. Mean waist circumference was 84.74±2.84 cm for patients with hepatic steatosis and 78.24±1.60 cm for those without the disease (p = 0.04). Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 27.3% (21/77) of obese patients, 47.6% (10/21) of them having steatosis, 60% had mild steatosis and 40% had a moderate degree of the disorder. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of hepatic steatosis and metabolic syndrome was high. The association of larger waist circumference with hepatic steatosis highlights the importance of taking this parameter into consideration when investigating obese patients.

Keywords : Obesity; hepatic steatosis; metabolic syndrome; children; adolescent.

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