SRL Diagnostics has launched ‘Fatty Liver Index’; a first-line diagnostic test for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Fatty Liver Index (FLI) is an algorithm-based index that includes multiple parameters; results of the GGT test (gamma-glutamyl-transferase), triglycerides test (TG), weight, height, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference for the prediction of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Speaking on the launch of the test, Mr. Anand. K, Chief Executive Officer, SRL Diagnostics said, “Epidemiological studies suggest the prevalence of NAFLD is around 9% to 32% of the general population in India with higher prevalence in those who are overweight or obese and those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Additionally, NAFLD has also emerged as one of the leading causes of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver transplants in India. India is the first country to have added NAFLD to one of its national disease control programs by integrating it into the National Program on Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and Stroke by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Precise diagnosis is the first step in disease control and we are proud to lead this initiative for NAFLD.”

Adding her comments, Dr. Kshama Pimpalgaonkar, Head of Department, Biochemistry, SRL Diagnostics said “Fatty liver disease is a common condition caused by the storage of extra fat in the liver. NAFLD is becoming the most common chronic liver disease in the absence of little or no alcohol use or any other obvious factors for damage. It is also associated with hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular diseases. Fatty liver may not show any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include abdominal pain and fatigue. Early diagnosis is important due to the lack of symptoms. The test is useful for those who are at high risk for NAFLD.”

In certain cases, NAFLD may progress to nonalcoholicsteatohepatitis (NASH), marked by inflammation of the liver. Persistent inflammation in the liver will cause scarring (fibrosis), if the scarring becomes widespread (cirrhosis) it may cause impaired liver function. The symptoms in such cases would be enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface, enlarged spleen, red palms and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).”

Thus, NAFLD has a varied spectrum, liver may progress through stages of fatty liver, fibrosis, cirrhosis, cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) which may lead to death in early adulthood. Hence, the prediction of fatty liver may help in better clinical management. It is an appropriate tool for early intervention of metabolic disturbances. This can help in patient selection for ultrasound, intensified lifestyle counselling, or liver biopsy. Patients who are overweight, diabetic, have elevated liver enzymes, or in whom fatty liver is suspected are advised to get tested.

Over the past few decades, NAFLD has emerged as a public health concern contributing to a significant burden of hepatic and extra hepatic disease. Creating awareness and changing perceptions of the public and clinicians is the need of the hour. With NAFLD being a deadly lifestyle disease, the effort for prevention and control is required at an individual level, at the family level as well as government and administrative levels. SRL Diagnostics is proud to have launched this important diagnostic tool for the public.