The Utility of Noninvasive Scores in Assessing the Prevalence of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Advanced Fibrosis in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

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The aim of our study is to assess the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and advanced hepatic fibrosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) using simple noninvasive scores.


In individuals with T2DM, there is a very high prevalence of NAFLD. Moreover, T2DM is a risk factor for advanced disease in NAFLD patients.


Using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes all patients with the diagnosis of T2DM were reviewed and a retrospective chart analysis was performed on 169,910 patients between the ages of 18 to 80. To predict the prevalence of NAFLD, we calculated the hepatic steatosis index. To estimate the prevalence of advanced fibrosis, NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), fibrosis-4 index, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to platelet ratio index (APRI), and AST/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio were calculated.


Of the 121,513 patients included in the analysis, 89.4% were above normal weight limit. NAFLD based on Hepatic Steatosis Index>36 was present in 87.9% of patients. Advanced fibrosis was present in 35.4% based on NFS>0.676, 8.4% based on fibrosis-4>2.67, 1.9% based on APRI>1.5, and 16.9% based on AST/ALT>1.4% indicating advanced fibrosis and high risk of developing cirrhosis related to NAFLD.


In this large cohort of patients with T2DM, we detected high prevalence of hepatic steatosis and advanced fibrosis using noninvasive scores. These scores are easy and nonexpensive tools to screen for NAFLD and advanced fibrosis, although the significant variability of the percentage of patients with advanced fibrosis using these scores indicates the need for further validation in diabetic populations.

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