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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
30-Apr-2009

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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-078-774-11853
BioMed Central
@biomedcentral

New noninvasive liver fibrosis index reduces need for biopsies in children

A new non-invasive diagnostic index has been developed that may be used in tertiary care to rule in liver fibrosis in children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The 'Pediatric NAFLD Fibrosis Index' (PNFI), described in the open access journal BMC Medicine, uses age, waist circumference and triglycerides to predict the presence of fibrosis.

Dr Valerio Nobili, from the Pediatric Hospital IRCCS "Bambino Gesù", Rome, worked a team of researchers including Dr Giorgio Bedogni and Professor Claudio Tiribelli to assess the factors that were associated with fibrosis in 203 children treated at the hospital's Liver Unit. Nobili said, "Diagnosis of liver fibrosis is currently based on liver biopsy. However, this is invasive and limited by the hazard and discomfort to the patient. Thus, there is a recognized need for less invasive strategies to identify the minority of NAFLD patients with liver fibrosis".

NAFLD is a highly prevalent and potentially very serious complication of childhood obesity. The early identification of fibrosis is particularly important in children as it may help prevent the development of liver disease in adulthood. The authors' evaluation of the ability of selected clinical features and laboratory exams to predict liver fibrosis in children with NAFLD revealed that by inputting a child's age, waist circumference and triglyceride levels into a relatively simple equation, it was possible to gain a useful indication of the likelihood of fibrosis.

Nobili concludes, "The use of non-invasive, reliable tests for this booming condition is important for children and adults and this is why we invested our expertise in the field of NAFLD into this original and important study".

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Notes to Editors

1. The pediatric NAFLD fibrosis index: a predictor of liver fibrosis in children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Valerio Nobili, Anna Alisi, Andrea Vania, Claudio Tiribelli, Andrea Pietrobattista and Giorgio Bedogni
BMC Medicine (in press)

During embargo, article available here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/imedia/8363332626707873_article.pdf?random=321091

After the embargo, article available at journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmed/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication

2. BMC Medicine - the flagship medical journal of the BMC series - publishes original research articles, commentaries and reviews in all areas of medical science and clinical practice. To be appropriate for BMC Medicine, articles need to be of outstanding quality, broad interest and special importance. BMC Medicine (ISSN 1741-7015) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, BIOSIS, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Current Contents, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (www.biomedcentral.com) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



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