A multidisciplinary research team from the Instituto Biodonostia made up by digestologists, epidemiologists and researchers of the Experimental Unit evaluated the use of a method so far employed in the food industry to improve the diagnosis of hepatic steatosis. Fatty liver is one of the most frequent liver diseases and it is promoted by obesity and diabetes.
Up to now, fat determination in the liver involved histology (study of liver tissues), and four severity degrees were subjectively identified. The Biodonostia research team has evaluated the suitability of the Soxtec method, commonly used for lipid determination in different foods, to quantify liver fat in mice in which hepatic steatosis was promoted.
The study shows that there is a good correlation between the histological and the Soxtec methods; the latter allows objective fat determination using a non-invasive method – nuclear magnetic resonance.
After getting positive results in research animals, the study currently involves patients operated on for liver diseases.