Methods: Lactase activity was measured with a 13CO2 lactose breath test using an infrared spectrometer. Each subject took 25 g of lactose naturally enriched in 13CO2 together with 250 mL of water after an overnight fast. Breath samples were collected at baseline and at 15-min intervals for 180 min. Subjects were asked to report gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms following ingestion of the lactose test meal.
Results: Of the 248 subjects tested, 216 (87.1%) were lactase deficient. We found no significant differences in the presentation of LD between gender and races. LD was found in 87.5% of males and 86.8% of females (P = 0.975) and in different races: Chinese (88.5%) versus Malay (83.1%) (P = 0.399), Indian (90.5%) versus Malay (P = 0.295), and Chinese versus Indian (P = 0.902). LI was diagnosed in only 49 (19.8%) subjects; 35 patients had diarrhea, while the remainder had at least two other GI symptoms after the lactose meal.
Conclusion: The prevalence of LD was high in all three major ethnic groups-Malays, Chinese, and Indians. Ironically, the prevalence of LI was low overall.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of government officers and their family members attending a health screening at a public healthcare facility was conducted. All subjects underwent clinical evaluation, biochemical testing, anthropometry, ultrasound carotid Doppler, and Fibroscan examination.
Results: Data for 251 subjects were analyzed (mean age 47.1 ± 12.4 years, 74.1% male). Prevalence of NAFLD and advanced fibrosis were 57.4 and 17.5%, respectively. Independent factors associated with NAFLD were waist circumference (odds ratio [OR] = 1.077, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.038-1.118, P < 0.001) and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (OR = 1.039, 95% CI 1.005-1.074, P = 0.024). Independent factors associated with advanced fibrosis were male gender (OR = 4.847, 95% CI 1.369-17.155, P = 0.014) and serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (OR = 1.057, 95% CI 1.003-1.113, P = 0.036). Prevalence of increased CIMT was 29.0%. Independent factor associated with increased CIMT was older age (OR = 1.146, 95% CI 1.067-1.231, P < 0.001). Of the subjects, 34.5% with NAFLD had increased CIMT compared to 19.1% of the subjects without NAFLD (P = 0.063). Advanced fibrosis was not associated with increased CIMT.
Conclusions: Prevalence of NAFLD, advanced liver fibrosis, and increased CIMT were high. NAFLD and advanced liver fibrosis appeared not to be associated with increased CIMT. However, a larger sample size is needed to demonstrate whether there is any association.
Methods: This study included patients with biopsy-proven non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) diagnosed between November 2012 and October 2015. Serum cathepsin D levels were measured using the CatD enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (USCN Life Science, Wuhan, China) using stored samples collected on the same day of the liver biopsy procedure. The performance of cathepsin D in the diagnosis and monitoring of NASH was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic analysis.
Results: Data for 216 liver biopsies and 34 healthy controls were analyzed. The mean cathepsin D level was not significantly different between NAFLD patients and controls; between NASH and non-NASH patients; and across the different steatosis, lobular inflammation, and hepatocyte ballooning grades. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of cathepsin D for the diagnosis of NAFLD and NASH was 0.62 and 0.52, respectively. The AUROC of cathepsin D for the diagnosis of the different steatosis, lobular inflammation, and hepatocyte ballooning grades ranged from 0.51 to 0.58. Of the 216 liver biopsies, 152 were paired liver biopsies from 76 patients who had a repeat liver biopsy after 48 weeks. There was no significant change in the cathepsin D level at follow-up compared to baseline in patients who had histological improvement or worsening for steatosis, lobular inflammation, and hepatocyte ballooning grades. Cathepsin D was poor for predicting improvement or worsening of steatosis and hepatocyte ballooning, with AUROC ranging from 0.47 to 0.54. It was fair for predicting worsening (AUROC 0.73) but poor for predicting improvement (AUROC 0.54) of lobular inflammation.
Conclusion: Cathepsin D was a poor biomarker for the diagnosis and monitoring of NASH in our cohort of Asian patients, somewhat inconsistent with previous observations in Caucasian patients. Further studies in different cohorts are needed to verify our observation.