Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-46

Predictors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese and overweight Egyptian children: Single center study

1 Department of Pediatrics, Cairo University, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Egypt
2 Department of Chemical Pathology, Cairo University, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Egypt
3 Department of Pathology, Cairo University, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hanaa M El-Karaksy
44, Mohei El-Deen Abu El-Ezz Street, Dokki, Cairo - 123 11
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.74476

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Background/Aim: Pediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a global problem which has been increasingly recognized with the dramatic rise in pediatric obesity. The aim of the present study was to identify the clinical, sonographic, and biochemical predictors for NAFLD in obese children. Materials and Methods: Seventy-six children (2-15 years) were included after an informed consent. All were subjected to full anthropometric assessment (including height, weight, body mass index, subscapular skin fold thickness, waist and hip circumference and calculation of waist: hip ratio), biochemical assessment of liver function tests, lipid profile and insulin resistance and sonographic assessment of hepatic echogenicity. Liver biopsy when indicated, was done in 33 patients. Results: Sixteen patients (21%) had elevated ALT and 6 (7.9%) had elevated AST. Significant dyslipidemia (low HDL-c, high total cholesterol, high LDL-c and triglycerides) and higher insulin resistance were found in obese patients (P<0.01). The main sonographic findings were hepatomegaly in 20 patients (26.3%) and echogenic liver in 41 patients (53.9%). Liver biopsy showed simple steatosis in eight cases (24.2%) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in seven cases (21.2%). Anthropometric measurements, increased hepatic echogenicty by ultrasound, insulin resistance and lipid profile were good predictors of NAFLD in obese children if assessed together. However, LDL-c was the only sensitive predictor (independent variable) for NAFLD in both uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Conclusion : Dyslipidemia per se is a strong predictor of NAFLD among obese Egyptian children.

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