Introduction

The hepatic steatosis is a disease of the liver which causes a rise of triglycerides following a constant inflammation of the hepatocytes. Asymptomatic, it can often leads to more severe diseases like diabetes or cancer. The histopathologic analysis by biopsy remains the most reliable method up to now to diagnose steatosis but it comprises the significant disadvantage to be invasive for the patient. A non invasive technique, the proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), recently allowed to show that it is possible to quantify triglycerides in the liver. Other techniques of imagery can be added with spectroscopy, like diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and double echo MRI (DEI). The first measures displacements of water through tissues whereas last measure the quantity of fat present within a tissue. Biochemically speaking, the titration of enzymatic activity, especially the aspartate aminotransferase (AST) on alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio, allows to distinguish the alcoholic or non-alcoholic origin of the steatosis. Finally, analysis of the metabolites contained in a biological fluid, named metabonomic, allows to quantify several metabolites.

Aim

To determine which methods and which parameters (magnetic resonance, bioassays and metabonomic) allow to better evaluate the hepatic degree of steatosis in a non-invasive way and to differentiate the alcoholic steatosis from the non-alcoholic steatosis.