Hepatic Steatosis detected by Hepatorenal Index in Ultrasonography as a Predictor of Insulin Resistance
AuthorIsaksen, Victoria Therese; Larsen, Maria Arlen; Goll, Rasmus; Florholmen, Jon; Paulssen, Eyvind Jakob
BACKGROUND: The metabolic syndrome is a worldwide health issue, with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (liver steatosis) being one of its features, particularly closely related to insulin resistance. This study aims to investigate whether quantification of hepatic steatosis by abdominal ultrasonography, using hepatorenal index, is a feasible tool for the prediction of insulin resistance, and thus the metabolic syndrome. METHODS: Patients were recruited from the Centre of Obesity at the University Hospital of North Norway, and among participants from the Sixth Tromsø Study. Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA1-IR) was measured, body mass index (BMI, kg/m(2)) calculated, and hepatorenal index (HRI), i.e. the ratio of liver to kidney optical densities, was measured by transabdominal ultrasonography. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were performed, detecting insulin resistance at HOMA1-IR cut-off values >2.3 and >2.5. RESULTS: Ninety participants were included in the study, of which 46 (51 %) had BMI ≥30 and 27 (30 %) had BMI ≥35. Overall, HRI at level 1.17 had sensitivity 0.90 and specificity 0.70 for predicting insulin resistance (HOMA1-IR >2.3) in all participants. For participants with BMI ≥30, HRI at level 1.17 had sensitivity 0.94 and specificity 0.70, and for BMI ≥35, HRI at level 1.17 had sensitivity 0.93 and specificity 0.75 for predicting HOMA1-IR >2.3. Setting the HRI limit at 1.42 gave low sensitivities and high specificities in all BMI groups. In the analysis predicting HOMA1-IR >2.5, sensitivity values were almost the same as in the analysis predicting HOMA1-IR >2.3, but specificity values were lower in this analysis. CONCLUSION: Detection and quantification of hepatic steatosis by ultrasound and the hepatorenal index is a feasible screening tool for identifying patients with low risk of having insulin resistance (IR, HRI <1.17), patients at risk of having IR (HRI 1.17-1.41) and patients with likely IR (HRI ≥1.42), especially in obese individuals.
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