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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Proton Density Fat Fraction Associates With Progression of Fibrosis in Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

  • Author(s): Ajmera, Veeral
  • Park, Charlie C
  • Caussy, Cyrielle
  • Singh, Seema
  • Hernandez, Carolyn
  • Bettencourt, Ricki
  • Hooker, Jonathan
  • Sy, Ethan
  • Behling, Cynthia
  • Xu, Ronghui
  • Middleton, Michael S
  • Valasek, Mark A
  • Faulkner, Claire
  • Rizo, Emily
  • Richards, Lisa
  • Sirlin, Claude B
  • Loomba, Rohit
  • et al.

Markers are needed to predict progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The proton density fat fraction, measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-PDFF), provides an accurate, validated marker of hepatic steatosis; however, it is not clear whether the PDFF identifies patients at risk for NAFLD progression. We performed a follow-up study of 95 well-characterized patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and examined the association between liver fat content and fibrosis progression. MRI-PDFF measurements were made at study entry (baseline). Biopsies were collected from patients at baseline and after a mean time period of 1.75 years. Among patients with no fibrosis at baseline, a higher proportion of patients in the higher liver fat group (MRI-PDFF ≥15.7%) had fibrosis progression (38.1%) than in the lower liver fat group (11.8%) (P = .067). In multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models (adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, and body mass index), patients in the higher liver fat group had a significantly higher risk of fibrosis progression (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio 6.7; 95% confidence interval 1.01-44.1; P = .049). Our findings associate higher liver fat content, measured by MRI-PDFF, with fibrosis progression.

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