Utility of quantitative 99mTc-phytate scintigraphy to diagnose early-stage non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

Masahiro Kikuchi, Kengo Tomita, Tadaki Nakahara, Naoto Kitamura, Toshiaki Teratani, Rie Irie, Hirokazu Yokoyama, Takahiro Suzuki, Terufumi Yokoyama, Takashi Taguchi, Shinobu Tanaka, Masaaki Noguchi, Tamiko Ohkura, Toshifumi Hibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. In patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver biopsy remains the only reliable method to differentiate simple steatosis from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of non-invasive 99mTc-phytate scintigraphy in the diagnosis of NASH. Material and methods. Thirty-seven patients with suspected NAFLD at the time of liver biopsy also underwent 99mTc- phytate scintigraphy. Signal intensities of regions of interest (ROI) in the liver, spleen, and heart were measured. We also examined scintigraphic features in a nutritional model of NASH in rats fed a methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet. Results. The liver/spleen uptake ratio determined by scintigraphy was significantly decreased in patients with NASH in comparison with patients with simple steatosis. The liver/spleen ratio was an independent predictor distinguishing NASH from simple steatosis. The decrease was observed for all stages of NASH, including the early stage (stages 1 and 0). In animal studies, the liver/spleen uptake ratio was significantly decreased in rats after 8 weeks of MCD dietary feeding in comparison with control diet-fed rats. Conclusions. The non-invasive 99mTc-phytate scintigraphy test is a reliable tool to differentiate NASH from simple steatosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb


  • Kupffer cell
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Tc-phytate scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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