Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a quantitative imaging method to detect and characterize liver inflammation for diagnosing a wide spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs).
Many patients diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – a more serious form of NAFLD which can cause swelling, scarring, and potential progression to cirrhosis of the injured liver. Although some imaging methods such as ultrasound and MRI have been developed to quantify liver fat and advanced fibrosis, no quantitative imaging methods exist for the detection and characterization of hepatic inflammation.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an imaging method to simultaneously detect and characterize hepatic inflammation and steatosis associated with NAFLD. This new method utilizes dynamic positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanning, common radiotracer 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and tracer kinetic modeling to obtain quantitative parameters. This method simultaneously images hepatic inflammation and steatosis to detect and characterize major NAFLD diseases - fatty liver and NASH. The method can also be potentially used to replace invasive biopsies in a clinical setting to measure liver inflammation and steatosis for diagnosing NASH and other NAFLDs.
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH, dynamic positron emission tomography, PET/CT, computed tomography, hepatic inflammation, steatosis, fibrosis