Published online Apr 18, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i5.769
Peer-review started: September 2, 2014
First decision: September 28, 2014
Revised: December 27, 2014
Accepted: January 9, 2015
Article in press: January 12, 2015
Published online: April 18, 2015
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease and is a major public health problem worldwide. It is a spectrum that includes simple steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis and cirrhosis. Recently, NAFLD prevalence in children and adolescents has increased too. The increasing prevalence has resulted in NASH-related chronic liver disease. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment is quite important. Although liver biopsy is still the gold standard for diagnosis and staging of NAFLD, particularly for the diagnosis of NASH, imaging methods such as ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging with chemical shift imaging and especially magnetic resonance spectroscopy and elastography have been increasingly approved as noninvasive alternative methods. The aim of this review is to analyze the diagnostic accuracy and limitations of the imaging methods and recent developments in the diagnosis of NAFLD.
Core tip: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease. Although liver biopsy is still the gold standard for diagnosis and staging of NAFLD, particularly for the diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), imaging methods have been increasingly accepted as noninvasive methods. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy is one of the most correct imaging methods for noninvasive evaluation of fatty liver. Elastography is primarily used for the noninvasive evaluation of liver fibrosis and NASH.