Testing & Diagnosis for Fatty liver in Children

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The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will usually make a diagnosis of NAFLD based on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and blood tests. In particular, children who are obese and have higher-than-normal levels of certain liver enzymes on routine blood tests are likely to have NAFLD. Your doctor may order an ultrasound (a painless, non-invasive imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound) to confirm the diagnosis.

In some cases, your doctor may order a liver biopsy to see the extent of fat buildup and scarring, if any, in your child’s liver, which will tell whether your child has simple NAFLD or NASH.

Because NAFLD can progress to more serious conditions, once they make a diagnosis of NAFLD our doctors will monitor your child’s liver by several means, including periodic:

  • Blood tests, to check how well your child’s liver is working.
  • Ultrasounds.
  • Physical exams.

In this way, your doctor will be able to tell whether your child’s treatment is working and also watch for potential signs of worsening.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
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