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Imaging-Based Assessment of Steatosis, Inflammation and Fibrosis in NAFLD

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Timothy Hardy, Professor Stuart McPhersonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the Western world. Invasive liver biopsy remains the gold standard method for the diagnosis and staging of NAFLD. The aim of this review is to summarize recent research regarding imaging-based assessment of NAFLD.Novel methods such as controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) and magnetic resonance imaging proton-derived fat fraction (MRI-PDFF) appear promising for steatosis assessment and are currently undergoing validation in NAFLD. Fibrosis can be non-invasively assessed by transient elastography (TE), which is currently the best validated test in NAFLD. MR elastography (MRE) appears very sensitive for fibrosis detection. No imaging technique can accurately detect NASH.TE is inexpensive and relatively widely available and can reliably exclude advanced fibrosis in NAFLD. MRI offers the most promise for steatosis and fibrosis quantification, but further validation of these techniques is needed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hardy T, McPherson S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Hepatology Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 16

Issue: 4

Pages: 298-307

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Online publication date: 16/11/2017

Acceptance date: 09/10/2016

ISSN (electronic): 2195-9595

Publisher: Springer US


DOI: 10.1007/s11901-017-0368-4