Non-Invasive Assessment of Liver Fibrosis and Steatosis in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients Undergoing Renal Transplant Evaluation

Taseen Syed, Nikita Chadha, Dhiren Kumar, Gaurav Gupta, Richard K. Sterling


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has an increased prevalence in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) due to similar risk factors. The aim of this study was to assess non-invasive testing including transient elastography (TE) for liver stiffness (LS), controlled attenuated parameter (CAP) for steatosis, Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) score, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to platelet ratio index (APRI) and NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), for evaluation of NAFLD along with advanced fibrosis (AF) in patients with ESRD undergoing renal transplant evaluation.

Methods: Data were retrospectively collected within 12 weeks of TE. Primary outcomes were AF, defined by LS >= 9 kPa compared to APRI > 1.5, FIB-4 > 2.67, and NFS of 0.675, and >= 5% steatosis by CAP >= 263 dB/m compared to liver histology when available.

Results: A total of 171 patients were evaluated: mean age 56, 65% male, 36% obese, 47% had diabetes, 96% hypertension, and 56% dyslipidemia. Mean LS was 6.5 kPa with 21% having AF. Mean CAP was 232 dB/m, with 25% having steatosis. Those with AF were older with higher NFS. Those with steatosis were obese and had diabetes without higher LS or fibrosis scores. Only NFS was associated with LS >= 9 kPa. In those with liver histology, AF was associated with LS >= 9 kPa but not with APRI, FIB-4, or NFS.

Conclusions: Despite normal liver enzymes, non-invasive assessment via TE in ESRD patients exhibited high prevalence of AF and steatosis not detected by APRI or FIB-4 scores. This high prevalence was secondary to the common risk factors such as obesity and diabetes, among patients with NAFLD and ESRD.

Gastroenterol Res. 2021;14(4):244-251


Non-invasive fibrosis assessment; Fibrosis-4 score; Fibroscan; Transient elastography; APRI; NFS

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