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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, V
  • Park, CC
  • Caussy, C
  • Singh, S
  • Hernandez, C
  • Bettencourt, R
  • Hooker, J
  • Sy, E
  • Behling, C
  • Xu, R
  • Middleton, MS
  • Valasek, MA
  • Faulkner, C
  • Rizo, E
  • Richards, L
  • Sirlin, CB
  • Loomba, R
  • et al.
Abstract

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 proton density fat fraction 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% CI, 1.01-44.1) (P=.049). Our findings associate higher liver fat content, measured by MRI-PDFF, with fibrosis progression.

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