How is fatty liver disease detected?

The gold standard of diagnosing fatty liver disease is by liver biopsy. This involves having a hollow needle injected into your liver under local anesthetic to collect a small sample of liver tissue. The cells of the liver are then examined under a microscope, and characteristic fatty changes can be seen.

However, there are non invasive ways to detect fatty liver disease, such as through blood tests and imaging. More liver experts today rely on ultrasound technology and even MRI to detect the signs of fatty liver disease.

Ultrasound is a good non-invasive method of detecting fatty liver disease. Normally on an ultrasound the liver appears dark but if fatty deposits start to build up in the liver cells, it starts to look brighter. MRI techniques can also be used to measure the amount of fat in the liver with greater accuracy.

Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to reduce fatty liver disease and prevent chronic liver problems. “The important thing is to visualise that fatty liver disease has begun and then to treat using lifestyle changes. At The London Clinic our consultants work in multi-disciplinary teams which include dietitians, who can help patients achieve this.