Clinicians develop model to calculate patient risk for NAFLD decompensation

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver diseases worldwide and is associated with conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Although common, identifying people who could be at risk for NAFLD decompensation can be challenging for physicians.

“We needed a way to easily identify patients with NAFLD who are at increased risk of developing hepatic decompensation before they develop clinically obvious cirrhosis and portal hypertension,” Arvind Murali, MBBS, said. “A simple-to-use objective score that all clinicians can easily use would be an ideal answer to this question.”

Murali, clinical assistant professor, and Antonio Sanchez, MD, clinical professor, both in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, worked with a team of researchers to develop a risk score calculator, the Iowa NAFLD Decompensation Risk Model, that would identify patients with NAFLD at increased risk of development of hepatic decompensation. The team published their findings in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.  

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