INTRODUCTION: Strong evidence indicates that multiple genetic and environmental risk factors play a role in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We aimed to develop and validate a novel nomogram, incorporating both genetic and clinical factors, for predicting NASH.METHODS: A total of 1,070 Asian individuals with biopsy-confirmed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) from 2 countries (China and South Korea) were recruited. The histological spectrum of NAFLD was classified according to the NASH clinical research network scoring system. The nomogram was developed in the Chinese training set (n = 402), and then, it was validated in both the Chinese internal validation set (n = 136) and the external Korean validation cohort (n = 532), respectively.RESULTS: Sex, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, serum aspartate aminotransferase levels, and PNPLA3 (rs738409) and HSD17B13 (rs72613567) genetic variants were strongly associated with NASH. Based on their regression coefficients, we developed a nomogram with good discriminatory ability (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve: 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77-0.85) and good calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow test, P = 0.794) for identifying NASH. In the 2 validation cohorts, the nomogram showed high area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (internal validation set: 0.80, 95% CI 0.72-0.88; external validation cohort: 0.76, 95% CI 0.72-0.80) and good calibration.DISCUSSION: Our newly developed and externally validated nomogram, incorporating both genetic and clinical risk factors, may be conveniently used to predict NASH. Further validation studies in other ethnic groups are warranted to confirm its diagnostic utility to identify NASH, among patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
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