Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
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Background/Aims. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease that can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. This retrospective chart review investigated the incidence of hepatic steatosis in London, Ontario, Canada. Methods. A retrospective chart review was performed on emergency room (ER) patients undergoing nonscheduled computed tomography (CT) imaging over a six-month period in London, Ontario. CT images and reports were examined to determine presence of steatosis. Analyses of the electronic chart for a period of six months following the CT and communication with the patients' family doctors were used to determine if there was follow-up. Waist circumference, subcutaneous fat depth, and abdominal fat volumes were calculated. Results. 48/450 patients meeting inclusion criteria were identified by radiology as having steatosis, with 34/40 (85%) family physicians unaware of the finding. 24.7% (100/405) of patients met standard CT criteria for steatosis, 40 of which were reported by the radiologist. Waist circumference, subcutaneous adipose tissue depth, subcutaneous adipose tissue volume, and visceral adipose tissue volume were significantly associated with steatosis. Conclusions. The hepatic steatosis prevalence we report is the first reported in a Canadian population. Early identification of steatosis will become more important as new pharmacologic therapies arise.