Cirrhosis in a Young Child Due to Fatty Liver; Importance of Early Screening: A Case Report and Review of the Literature
Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease
Hamza Hassan Khan, Christine E. Klingert, Sanjay Kumar, Hernando Lyons
Department of Pediatrics, Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA
Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e923250
Available online: 2020-05-19
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the presence of chronic hepatic steatosis in the absence of infections, steatogenic medication use, metabolic/genetic disorders, malnutrition, or ethanol consumption. NAFLD encompasses a spectrum of liver damage varying from non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) on the most clinically benign end of the spectrum to cirrhosis on the opposite extreme, where most liver-related morbidity and mortality occurs.
CASE REPORT: We report a case of a 9-year-old boy with history of obesity (BMI 32.1 kg/m² - 99th percentile) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, who was referred to our pediatric gastroenterology clinic with a 1-week history of vomiting and right upper-quadrant abdominal pain. A review of the past medical history revealed transaminitis for the last 4 years and a dietary regimen for the last 2 years with poor compliance and follow-up. An extensive workup revealed an SGPT of 327 unit/L, SGOT 186 unit/L, and triglycerides of 208 mg/dL; infectious, metabolic, genetic, and autoimmune etiologies were ruled-out. The median liver stiffness measured by Fibroscan was 14 kPa, consistent with F4 fibrosis, and the cap median value was 271 dB/mW, reflective of S2 steatosis. An ultrasound-guided core liver biopsy revealed steatohepatitis with bridging and encircling fibrosis consistent with early/evolving cirrhosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Although cirrhosis is rarely seen in pediatric patients with NAFLD, it should always be considered. Secondly, Fibroscan, a non-invasive imaging procedure, is a useful tool to assess the level of fibrosis and steatosis in patients with NAFLD; early evaluation of our patient could potentially have limited the progression to cirrhosis.
Keywords: Fatty Liver, Liver Cirrhosis, Pediatrics