Published online Oct 7, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i37.4191
Revised: April 7, 2011
Accepted: April 14, 2011
Published online: October 7, 2011
AIM: To investigate the diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) using contrast ultrasonography in the NASH rat model.
METHODS: The liver in methionine choline-deficient diet (MCDD) rats, a NASH model constructed by feeding an MCDD, was examined by contrast ultrasonography at weeks 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16, with late phase images of contrast ultrasonography (Kupffer imaging) in which contrast enhancement was achieved by incorporation of a contrast agent by Kupffer cells (KCs), and images were compared to those in rats taking a regular chow.
RESULTS: Decrease in contrast enhancement was observed first in MCDD rats at week 2. KCs were counted based on immunohistochemistry, but their numbers were not reduced and it was assumed that attenuation of contrast enhancement was attributable to reduced phagocytic activity of the KCs.
CONCLUSION: It is suggested that clinical application of contrast ultrasonography may be valuable for non-invasive diagnosis of NASH.