Fatty liver in children
Mandana Rafeey1, Fakhrossadat Mortazavi2, Nafiseh Mogaddasi2, Ghergherehchi Robabeh2, Shamsi Ghaffari2, Alka Hasani3
1Liver and gastrointestinal Research Center; 2Tabriz University (Medical Science) Tabriz, Iran; 3Research Center of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine
Aims: The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical and laboratory characteristics of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a referral center of pediatrics in the northwest of Iran.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study all subjects aged between six months to 15 years that were referred to the sonography unit, were investigated for fatty liver from March 2005 to August 2006. Patients with fatty liver change underwent detailed clinical and laboratory evaluation.
Results: From 1500 children who were investigated, 34 subjects with sonographic evidence of fatty liver were enrolled in this study (2.3%). The mean age was 6.53 ± 3.07 years. Elevated aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase was detected in 38.2% and 47.1% of patients, respectively. The mean level of cholesterol was 461 ± 182.23 mg/dl and 94.1% of patients had hypercholesterolemia. Total cholesterol level and serum aminotransferase levels had a significant positive correlation with severity of fatty liver (p < 0.05). Mean body mass index was significantly higher in patients with severe fatty liver (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The epidemiology of pediatric NAFLD should inform future attempts to develop evaluated screening protocols. Moreover, these data should guide efforts to delineate the pathophysiology of fatty liver in children.
Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, steatohepatitis, obesity, children
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