- 1Comprehensive Transplant Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
- 2Comprehensive Transplant Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Karsh Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Comprehensive Transplant Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: Mazen.Noureddin@cshs.org.
Purpose: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide and has the potential risk for progressing to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is associated with a greater risk for complications of chronic liver disease. Noninvasive testing has been evaluated for diagnosis, risk stratification, disease progression, and assessing response to therapy. The purpose of this narrative review was to outline the current noninvasive testing modalities for the diagnostic evaluation of NAFLD and NASH, while discussing possible markers that could be used for monitoring response to therapies.
Methods: The PubMed and Cochrane databases were searched for relevant articles that evaluated the diagnosis of NAFLD/NASH with serum biomarkers and/or imaging.
Findings: Serum biomarkers, imaging modalities, and combinations/serial algorithms involved in the diagnosis of NAFLD and NASH are outlined. In addition, noninvasive modalities that have been used for assessing response to therapies in clinical trials are discussed.
Implications: Liver biopsy currently remains the gold standard for diagnosis and is often used in clinical trials to assess treatment response. However, developing safe and accessible noninvasive modalities for diagnosis and monitoring will have greater impact and relevance, as biopsy may not always be feasible in all clinical settings.