Non-invasive assessment of fibrosis and steatosis in pediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Bryan R. Chen, Calvin Q. Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) has become one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the pediatric population. Recent advances have been made in developing non-invasive measures for NAFLD assessment. This review presents an analysis of these latest developments and also proposes an algorithm for screening pediatric patients at risk for NAFLD. Methods: A systematic literature search on PUBMED and EMBASE was conducted. Guidelines for clinical care of pediatric NAFLD were also reviewed. Results: In imaging tests, transient elastography (TE) combined with controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) is a promising, relatively low-cost method offering an intermediate level of accuracy on accessing patient's fibrosis and steatosis in a singular package. Liver biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis and/or evaluation of NAFLD, but with our proposed algorithm on utilizing non-invasive testing, the number of liver biopsies required could decrease. The current evidence supports the implementation of TE and CAP in an evaluation algorithm for pediatric NAFLD. Conclusions: Current data support the use of TE and CAP as a first-line tool in the diagnosis and evaluation of adolescent NAFLD, to better stratify high-risk patients and cut down on the number of liver biopsies needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101755
JournalClinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibroscan
  • Magnetic Resonance Elastography
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Non-invasive
  • Pediatric
  • Shear wave elastography

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