Introduction: With an increase in the worldwide prevalence of obesity, the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been on the rise, such that it has been recently considered to be a major public health concern. Traditional interventions, such as lifestyle modifications, regular exercise, and healthy diet, have been significant in improving NAFLD with reduction of liver fat. Areas covered: Although liver biopsy is still the gold standard for diagnosis of NAFLD, there is a need for non-invasive, quantitative assessments of hepatic steatosis, especially in clinical trials of anti-steatotic medications or in the follow-up of patients undergoing lifestyle modifications. Liver biopsy has various shortcomings, such as invasive nature, risk of complications and possibility of sampling error. Therefore, it is impractical to use liver biopsy routinely in patients with NAFLD, clearly indicating the need for non-invasive and accurate diagnostic methods. Recently, controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) and magnetic resonance imaging–proton density fat fraction (MRI–PDFF) have been employed in various studies to monitor the dynamic changes of hepatic steatosis in response to treatment in patients with NAFLD. Expert commentary: Although further validations are required, CAP and MRI–PDFF could be used as potential diagnostic and monitoring tools in clinical setting.
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