The incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children is rapidly increasing. Liver fibrosis is a poor prognostic feature that independently predicts cirrhosis. The time that intercedes the first medical encounter and biopsy is rate-limiting to multi-modal treatment. This study aimed to identify non-invasive parameters to predict advanced NAFLD and fibrosis. We conducted a single-center, retrospective 10-year analysis of 640 paediatric patients who underwent liver biopsy. 55 patients, age 3–21 years, had biopsy-confirmed NAFLD. We assessed primary outcomes, NAFLD activity score (NAS) and fibrosis scores, against non-invasive parameters by linear regression, by using binary cutoff values, and by a multivariate logistic regression fibrosis prediction model. NAS correlated with platelets and female sex. Fibrosis scores correlated with platelet counts, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), and ultrasound shear wave velocity. 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and GGT differentiated mild versus moderate-to-advanced fibrosis. Our multivariate logistical regression model-based scoring system predicted F2 or higher (parameters: BMI%, vitamin D, platelets, GGT), with sensitivity and specificity of 0.83 and 0.95 (area under the ROC curve, 0.944). We identify a clinical model to identify high-risk patients for expedited biopsy. Stratifying patients to abbreviate time-to-biopsy can attenuate delays in aggressive therapy for high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12472
JournalClinical Obesity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • fibrosis
  • hepatitis
  • liver
  • obesity
  • predictive-model
  • steatosis


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