Clinicopathological correlations in a series of adult patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Original Article

Anastasia Fotiadu, Asterios Gagalis, Evangelos Akriviadis, Vassiliki Kotoula, Emmanouil Sinakos, Georgios Karkavelas, Prodromos Hytiroglou

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Possible correlations among clinical data, serum aminotransferase levels and histological features were assessed in a series of 37 adult patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), consisting of nine patients with fatty liver (FL) and 28 with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In each liver biopsy, the NAFLD activity score (NAS) and the stage of fibrosis were determined. Additionally, the number of Kupffer cell aggregates (microgranulomas) per centimeter of biopsy length (MG/cm ratio) was assessed on immunohistochemical stains for CD68 antigen. Definite NASH (NAS ≥ 5) was strongly correlated with serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level (P = 0.003), stage of fibrosis (P = 0.003) and age (P = 0.014). On multivariate analysis, age >46 years and AST level above normal values were found to be independent clinical predictors of established NASH. The MG/cm ratio increased from control liver to FL to NASH (P < 0.001), and was correlated with the NAS (P = 0.003) and with the stage of fibrosis (P = 0.004), but not with the serum aminotransferase levels. In conclusion, persistent AST elevation in patients with suspected NAFLD should be an indication for liver biopsy, in order to determine the severity of necroinflammatory activity and the stage of fibrosis. Microgranuloma counting may represent a useful complementary marker of necroinflammatory activity in patients with NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalPathology International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aminotransferases
  • Fatty liver
  • Microgranulomas
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis


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