How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?
Anyone had experience with it?
It's tough to diagnose from what I have read - kind of like using PSA with prostate cancer. There's no perfect test yet. I believe that an ultrasound and/or biopsy is the final step, but here are some nice diagnostic signals to look for:http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/hepatology/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/
"In a patient with suspected NAFLD or NASH, useful baseline testing should include levels of AST, ALT, total and direct bilirubin, and fasting serum glucose, as well as a lipid panel. Mild to moderate elevation of serum aminotransferase levels is most commonly found (mean range, 100-200 IU/L). Generally, the ratio of AST to ALT is <1, but this ratio increases as fibrosis advances
. Liver enzyme levels are normal in a large percentage of patients with NAFLD; normal aminotransaminase levels do not exclude the presence of advanced disease
. Serum alkaline phosphatase and g-glutamyl transpeptidase levels may also be mildly abnormal
. Given that more than 80% of patients with NAFLD have some components of metabolic syndrome, serum levels of fasting cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as fasting glucose and insulin, should be determined. Albumin, bilirubin, and platelet levels are usually normal unless the disease has evolved to cirrhosis
. Some patients with NAFLD have low titers of autoimmune antibodies (antinuclear and anti–smooth muscle antibody) and an elevation of ferritin. The role of these markers is still unclear."