Score Predicts Mortality in NAFLD

Swedish researchers followed patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease for up to 41 years to come up with a scoring system to predict mortality risk.

Researchers in Sweden have come up with a scoring system to predict mortality risk in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD.)

In a study presented today at the International Liver Congress in Barcelona, Hannes Hagstrom, MD, a fellow of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Karoliska University Hospital, Stockholm and colleagues said his team looked at 139 patients with NAFLD confirmed by a biopsy.

They were then reclassified according to their degrees of steatosis, activity and fibrosis (SAF) three measures of liver function.

As they expected, the team found that the SAF scoring system would predict these patients' risk of dying.

“We wanted to validate their impact on mortality over a long-term follow-up period,” Hagstrom said, so the patients were followed for from 1.7 years to up to 41 years. The average period was 26 years.

At baseline, SAF scores showed 69 patients had a severe form of the disease and 35 patients had mild of moderate disease. Of 70 patients who died during follow-up, 59% were among those whose SAF scored indicated severe NAFLD. The illness is associated with obesity and diabetes.

Since NAFLD is the most common liver disease in the world, the SAF score should be useful in making treatment decisions, Hagstrom said.