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Biochemical Parameters and Anthropometry Predict NAFLD in Obese Children

Maffeis, Claudio*; Banzato, Claudia*; Rigotti, Francesca*; Nobili, Valerio; Valandro, Silvia*; Manfredi, Riccardo; Morandi, Anita*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: December 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 6 - p 590–593
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31822960be
Short Communication

ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to build a predictive model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in obese children. Fifty-six obese 10-year-old children underwent blood tests for biochemical measures and magnetic resonance imaging for NAFLD diagnosis. A model combining waist-to-height ratio, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, adiponectin, and alanine aminotransferase was accurate in predicting NAFLD (AUROC = 0.94 [95% confidence interval 0.89–0.99], P < 10−5). When adiponectin was not included in the model, the discrimination accuracy was still good (AUROC = 0.88 [95% confidence interval 0.79–0.97], P < 10−5). In conclusion, a predictive equation combining routinely available variables may allow physicians to identify obese children at the highest risk of NAFLD.

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*Unit of Pediatric Diabetes, Clinical Nutrition and Obesity, Department of Life and Reproduction Sciences, University of Verona, Verona

Metabolic and Autoimmunity Liver Disease Unit and Prevention of Metabolic Disease Research Unit, Bambino Gesu’ Children's Hospital, Rome

Department of Radiology, Section of Radiology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Anita Morandi, MD, Regional Center for Juvenile Diabetes, Unit of Clinical Nutrition and Obesity, Department of Life and Reproduction Sciences, University of Verona, Via Bengasi 4, 37134 Verona, Italy (e-mail:

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Received 29 April, 2011

Accepted 1 June, 2011

The authors received funding from the Ministry of Health Research Project of National Interest (PRIN) no. 2008CJ7CTW and the Department of Life and Reproduction Sciences of the University of Verona (MIUR 60%).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2011 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN