Proteomic Profiling to Detect Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease, which can in some case progress to fibrosis and cirrhosis, is an increasingly recognized complication of obesity. Currently, characterization of fatty liver disease is dependent on a liver biopsy.

In a paper appearing this month in GUT, Trak-Smayra and colleagues from the Centre de recherche Biomédical Bichat Beaujon, Paris, France, used SELDI-TOF ProteinChip profiling to detect fatty liver disease in eighty obese non-alcoholic patient candidates for bariatric surgery and who were devoid of hepatitis B and C infection. Proteomic profiles were compared to liver tissue samples.

Three peaks were detected in the proteomic profile (double charged ions of alpha- and beta-haemoglobin subunits), the intensity of which significantly increased according to the severity of the liver lesions and returned to normal after bariatric surgery.

These findings suggest that novel blood tests may be helpful in identifying and characterizing the extent of fatty liver disease in obese patients.

Edmonton, Alberta