5 years ago

Non-invasive Evaluation of NAFLD with Indocyanine Green Clearance Test: a Preliminary Study in Morbidly Obese Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery

Stephanie Patouraux, Rodolphe Anty, Marc Raucoules-Aimé, Antonio Iannelli, Jean Gugenheim, Pierre Eric Danin, Philippe Gual, Albert Tran



Overweight and obesity dramatically increased in the last years. Hepatic complication of obesity, integrated in the term of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is a spectrum of abnormality ranging from steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), potentially leading to cirrhosis. Liver biopsy remains the gold standard to evaluate the stage of NAFLD; however, the procedure is invasive. The indocyanine green (ICG) clearance test is performed since years to assess hepatic function before partial hepatectomy, or after liver transplantation. This study was designed to detect liver complications with the ICG clearance test in a population of obese patients scheduled for bariatric surgery.


In a prospective cohort study, morbidly obese individuals receiving bariatric surgery with scheduled hepatic biopsies were investigated. Liver function was determined by the ICG test preoperatively, and blood samples were collected. Liver biopsy specimens were obtained for each patient and classified according to the NAFLD activity score (NAS) by a single pathologist that was blinded to the results of the ICG test.


Twenty-six patients were included (7 male and 19 female). The mean age of participants was 45.8 years; the mean body mass index was 41.4 kg/m2. According to the NAS, 6 (23.1%) patients revealed manifest NASH, and 5 patients were considered borderline (19.2%). A closed correlation was observed between the ICG clearance test and hepatic steatosis (r = 0.43, p = 0.03), NAS (r = 0.44, p = 0.025), and fibrosis (r = 0.49, p = 0.01).


In obese patients, non-invasive evaluation of liver function with the indocyanine green clearance test correlated with histological features of NAFLD. This may detect non-invasively hepatopathy in obese population and could motive biopsy.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11695-017-2914-0

DOI: 10.1007/s11695-017-2914-0

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