A recent article (Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014; 12: 765-73) notes that ultrasound is not accurate for diagnosing NAFLD:
We analyzed 9 studies comprising 610 children; 4 studies assessed ultrasonography and 5 studies assessed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Ultrasonography was used in the diagnosis of fatty liver with positive predictive values of 47% to 62%. There was not a consistent relationship between ultrasound steatosis score and the reference measurement of hepatic steatosis. Liver fat as measurements by MRI or by spectroscopy varied with the methodologies used. Liver fat measurements by MRI correlated with results from histologic analyses, but sample size did not allow for an assessment of diagnostic accuracy.
Available evidence does not support the use of ultrasonography for the diagnosis or grading of fatty liver in children. Although MRI is a promising approach, the data are insufficient to make evidence-based recommendations regarding its use in children for the assessment of hepatic steatosis.
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