Characterisation of liver fat in the UK Biobank cohort

by Henry R. Wilman, Matt Kelly, Steve Garratt, Paul M. Matthews, Matteo Milanesi, Amy Herlihy, Micheal Gyngell, Stefan Neubauer, Jimmy D. Bell, Rajarshi Banerjee, E. Louise Thomas Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and the risk of progression to steatohepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma have been identified as major public health concerns. We have demonstrated the feasibility and potential value of measuring liver fat content by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a large population in this study of 4,949 participants (aged 45–73 years) in the UK Biobank imaging enhancement. Despite requirements for only a single (≤3min) scan of each subject, liver fat was able to be measured as the MRI proton density fat fraction (PDFF) with an overall success rate o f 96.4%. The overall hepatic fat distribution was centred between 1–2%, and was highly skewed towards higher fat content. The mean PDFF was 3.91%, and median 2.11%. Analysis of PDFF in conjunction with other data fields available from the UK Biobank Resource showed associations of increased liver fat with greater age, BMI, weight gain, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Subjects with BMI less than 25 kg/m2 had a low risk (5%) of high liver fat (PDFF> 5.5%), whereas in the higher BMI population (>30 kg/m2) the prevalence of high liver fat was approximately 1 in 3. These data suggest that population screening to identify people with high PDFF is possible and could be cost effective. MRI bas...
Source: PLoS One - Category: Biomedical Science Authors: Source Type: research

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Liver disease constitutes the third most common cause of premature death in the UK, and its prevalence is substantially higher compared to other countries in Western Europe.[1 –3] Excess liver iron is associated with increased severity and progression of liver diseases including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), [4–6] and is the direct cause of liver disease in those with hereditary haemochromatosis a nd thalassaemia.[7,8] Observational associations have been described between excess liver iron content and several metabolic diseases such as hig...
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Source: Annals of Hepatology - Category: Gastroenterology Tags: Ann Hepatol Source Type: research
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