Serological biomarkers associate ultrasound characteristics of steatohepatitis in mice with liver cancer.

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Serological biomarkers associate ultrasound characteristics of steatohepatitis in mice with liver cancer.

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018;15:71

Authors: Cui G, Martin RC, Liu X, Zheng Q, Pandit H, Zhang P, Li W, Li Y

Abstract
Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a spectrum of lesions ranging from steatosis to a complex pattern, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Ultrasonography provides important information on hepatic architecture for steatosis. NASH patients have an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Early detection of NASH is critical for clinicians to advise on necessary treatments to prevent the onset of HCC.
Methods: We established a NASH-HCC mouse model using diethylnitrosamine as a carcinogen to induce HCC and a high-fat diet to induce metabolic disorders. Characteristics of ultrasound imaging and potential serum biomarkers were investigated for detection of steatohepatitis and HCC in mice.
Results: The data suggested that ultrasound imaging of hyperechoic masses was potentially linked to the gross finding of HCC nodules, which was further confirmed by the histology. Positive correlation between serum fibroblast growth factor 15 and acoustic attenuation coefficient was found in mice with steatohepatitis. Combined with the serum markers, the increased acoustic attenuation coefficient could be a useful diagnostic parameter of ultrasound imaging for NASH detection.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a combination of serum fibroblast growth factor 15 and acoustic attenuation coefficient could be a sensitive marker for steatohepatitis and to predict carcinogenic initiation and progression of HCC in mice. These results might help for the design of ultrasound and surrogate markers in screening NASH patients who could be at risk of HCC.

PMID: 30323853 [PubMed]