New Delhi, June 13: Experts on Thursday noted that blood tests might not be sufficient for a speedy diagnosis and that ultrasound is crucial for the early detection of fatty liver disease. Currently, the diagnosis of fatty liver disease mainly relies on a combination of patient history, physical examination, and blood tests, including liver enzyme levels and markers of liver function.

However, experts noted that imaging studies, such as ultrasound and fibro scan, can help visualise the liver and detect fat accumulation even in cases where liver enzyme levels may not show any significant deviation. World Liver Day 2024 Date, History and Significance.

Dr Akash Roy, Senior Hepatologist at Apollo Hospitals, Kolkata said, “Early and accurate detection through imaging techniques like ultrasound could lead to timely interventions, lifestyle modifications, and treatment plans that could significantly improve patient outcomes. Therefore, I urge healthcare professionals to consider adopting ultrasound as a more routine diagnostic tool for fatty liver disease and using its benefits more widely to enhance patient care."

Fatty liver disease is related to obesity and diabetes. Consuming excessive carbs raises insulin levels and chronic high insulin levels lead to insulin resistance. This disrupts metabolism and converts excess glucose into fatty acids, which are stored in the liver. It can be classified into two main types: alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD/MASLD) linked to liver inflammation and damage, eventually leading to fibrosis, cirrhosis or even liver cancer.

In a recent study conducted by Apollo Hospitals, 33% of the 53,946 participants who had routine checkups were found to have fatty liver. But only one in three of those with fatty liver had raised liver enzymes, suggesting that diagnostic interventions in our healthcare systems need to go beyond blood testing for early identification and reversal of such disorders in all persons, according to the experts. Do You Know Intermittent Fasting Protects Against Liver Inflammation, Liver Cancer?

Dr Pavan Dhoble, Junior Consultant - Gastroenterology at P. D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim stated “Early detection is critical for effective management of fatty liver disease. Ultrasound imaging plays a vital role in identifying the grades of fatty liver, even in its silent stages. By leveraging ultrasound technology, we can detect fatty liver disease before symptoms appear, and prevent its progression to more severe liver damage."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 13, 2024 06:07 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website