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Screening for first-degree relatives of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Approximately 25% of people suffer from fatty nonalcoholic liver ailment (NAFLD). It refers to several liver pathologies occurring in people not drinking alcoholic beverages. NAFLD may provoke cirrhosis onset and progress, malignant tumor formation and organ’s insufficiency.

Scientists from California conducted a study and found out the next-mentioned: close relatives of people with advanced NAFLD are 15% more likely to have liver ailments. Results of this study clarified that early examination of all close kinsmen of persons with NAFLD can help detect ailment presence before it begins to progress and transform to a serious pathology.

Purpose of early screening of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Rohit Loumba, MD, researcher, says it was previously unknown close relatives of NAFLD-people may also develop fibrosis. This disease is very quiet and slowly progressive, most often asymptomatic. Patients may not notice the disease for a long time. Ongoing and future research will help to identify quickly such ailments and treat them in a timely manner.

NAFLD’s a very compound ailment based on exogenous and genetic factors. Separate investigations showed NAFLD have a heritable development pattern, and fibrosis is sometimes grouped within family ties. Purpose of modern research in medical scientific communities is to reveal serious liver defects in people as soon as possible through non-invasive techniques. This will help prevent cirrhosis progress and some deplorable consequences, creating suitable therapy for fatty liver disease.

Trial was carried out on about 400 people, with 1 degree of kinship and they were defined into two groups from Finland and the USA. Fibrosis level was assessed with MRI and other imaging tests. Among the visual methods for diagnosing NAFLD, the most widely used, due to its availability, is ultrasound: it makes it possible to detect steatosis and evaluate changes in dynamics. In accordance with research, screening regimens for relatives of people with NAFLD need to be improved.

Children and siblings of patients with NAFLD should be screened when they reach age 40+, monitoring the risk group will change the principles of care. It was researched, keeping loved ones aware about ailment risks – alcohol consumption, gaining excess weight, etc. – is essential to get the possibility successfully treating fatty-liver ailment.

Research shows, in the future it’ll be possible to reveal genetic aspects increasing NAFLD risks in order to detect problems as early as it may be, and provide timely treatment for fatty liver.

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