Fatty Liver is common, found incidentally on CT in 11.4% of the adult population in the US and in 22% among diabetics. Fatty liver is a risk factor for several key preventable diseases. Presence of fatty liver is associated with subclinical cardiovascular changes, elevated inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis and heart dysfunction. In diabetics (type II), fatty liver is associated with coronary artery disease.
It is also independently associated with increased coronary artery calcification and is a strong predictor of high-risk coronary artery plaque. The presence of fatty liver indicates 2.13x – 4.6x risk of having high risk coronary artery plaque. People with fatty liver are nearly 2x as likely to experience a cardiovascular event (heart attack or sudden death) over a mean follow up interval of 7.3 years.
Zebra developed an algorithm which analyses CT Chest / Abdomen data, automatically segments the liver, and calculates its average density. When detected in time, fatty liver can be reversible with lifestyle modifications involving diet, exercise and reduced alcohol intake. This algorithm can provide a ‘wake up’ call to pre-diabetics to spur lifestyle interventions.