Association of the Nonalcoholic Hepatic Steatosis and Its Degrees With the Values of Liver Enzymes and Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance Index

Mario Augusto Ferreira Cruz, Josilda Ferreira Cruz, Larissa Baracho Macena, Demetrius Silva de Santana, Cristiane Costa da Cunha Oliveira, Sonia Oliveira Lima, Alex Vianey Callado Franca


Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is among the most common chronic diseases of the modern world with a wide variety of factors including genetic, environmental and metabolic. The aim of this study was to verify the association between the degrees of hepatic steatosis at the abdominal ultrasound and the values of aminotransferases (aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine transferase (ALT)), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index.

Methods: A prospective, descriptive survey study, using a quantitative analytical examination, was conducted from July 2013 to July 2014. In the statistical analysis, values were expressed as median, first and third quartiles. We used the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test to compare the medians between the degrees of steatosis, adopted a statistical significance of 5% (P <= 0.05) and used the statistical program SPSS 22.0.

Results: We diagnosed 233/800 (29.1%) patients with hepatic steatosis on routine ultrasound, and 65.7% were female. Regarding degrees, 119 had grade 1 (51.0%), 94 grade 2 (40.4%) and 20 grade 3 (8.6%). The median age of the patients with grade 1, 2 or 3 did not vary significantly (P > 0.05). The median body mass index (BMI), although clinically important because of its elevation, did not differ significantly (P > 0.05). ALT levels increased as the degree of hepatic steatosis has advanced as well as the levels of AST, GGT and HOMA-IR. AST values showed a greater association with the severity of fatty liver (P = 0.0001) than the ALT (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: ALT, AST, GGT and HOMA-IR are associated to the degrees of hepatic steatosis on ultrasound and can help in the selection of patients for the liver histological evaluation.

Gastroenterol Res. 2015;8(5):260-264


Fatty liver; Ultrasonography; Liver enzymes; Insulin resistance

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