Jennifer Leigh Rehm1, Peter Wolfgram1, Ellen Lacon Connor1, Wei Zha2, David Allen1, Diego Hernando3, Scott B. Reeder4
1Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States; 2Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States; 3Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, United States; 4Radiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States
Hepatic steatosis (HS) is a serious and growing problem in pediatrics. HS screening, including ultrasound or aminotransferases, are insensitive to early disease. In a diverse group of 132 adolescents, we demonstrate that proton density fat-fraction (PDFF) measured with quantitative MRI is a clinically relevant, non-invasive method for early detection and quantitative staging of hepatic steatosis. PDFF correlates with metabolic risk but BMI and ALT were not predictive of HS in overweight subjects. PDFF measured with quantitative MRI is a promising method for early identification of HS, allowing intervention prior to development of irreversible hepatic injury and progression of metabolic disease.