Evaluation of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease using magnetic resonance in obese children and adolescents Please cite this article as: Benetolo PO, Fernandes MI, Ciampo IR, Elias-Junior J, Sawamura R. Evaluation of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease using magnetic resonance in obese children and adolescents. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2019;95:34–40.

Patrícia O. Benetolo Maria I.M. Fernandes Ieda R.L. Del Ciampo Jorge Elias-Junior Regina Sawamura About the authors

Abstract

Objective:

To determine the frequency of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease using nuclear magnetic resonance as a noninvasive method.

Methodology:

This was a cross-sectional study conducted on 50 children and adolescents followed up at an outpatient obesity clinic. The subjects were submitted to physical examination, laboratory tests (transaminases, liver function tests, lipid profile, glycemia, and basal insulin) and abdominal nuclear magnetic resonance (calculation of hepatic, visceral, and subcutaneous fat).

Results:

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was diagnosed in 14 (28%) participants, as a severe condition in eight (percent fat >18%), and as non-severe in four (percent fat from 9% to 18%). Fatty liver was associated with male gender, triglycerides, AST, ALT, AST/ALT ratio, and acanthosis nigricans. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome did not show an association with fatty liver.

Conclusion:

The frequency of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the present population of children and adolescents was lower than that reported in the international literature. It is suggested that nuclear magnetic resonance is an imaging exam that can be applied to children and adolescents, thus representing an effective noninvasive tool for the diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in this age range. However, further national multicenter studies with longitudinal design are needed for a better analysis of the correlation between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its risk factors, as well as its consequences.

KEYWORDS
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Hepatic steatosis; Nuclear magnetic resonance; Obese children and adolescents

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