LiMAx test shows reversibility of fatty liver disease after obesity surgery
Clinical study provides evidence for functional liver recovery after weight loss.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased dramatically in recent years. Approximately half or more than half of the Western world’s population is overweight or obese. The hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is presently considered to be the most common liver disease in Western countries. NAFLD may progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis. Both, NAFLD and NASH are reversible when effective weight reduction can be achieved. However, current noninvasive approaches to diagnosis, staging, and management of NAFLD and NASH are deficient.
Bariatric surgery provides long-term weight loss and improvement of obesity-associated liver diseases. In a prospective cohort study from October 2011 to May 2014, morbidly obese individuals receiving bariatric surgery were investigated for functional liver recovery. Liver function was determined by the LiMAx test preoperatively, 6 and 12 months postoperatively.
Investigator Prof. Ulf Neumann, Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, said: “We applied the LiMAx test to assess the liver function of morbidly obese patients and to monitor the functional liver recovery after bariatric surgery. The non-invasive LiMAx breath test validly determines liver function capacity. It may avoid the inaccuracy seen with blood parameters and the risks of invasive liver biopsies which, moreover, do not necessarily reflect the liver function. Our study results show that LiMAx values correlate to the NAFLD activity score (NAS). Thus, the LiMAx test is an interesting method to diagnose and monitor NAFLD and NASH.”
Study results showed that the mean liver function capacity significantly increased from preoperatively severely impaired values to normal values within 6 months after surgery and further improved over the period of the survey with a final measurement after one year.
Erwin de Buijzer, CEO of Humedics GmbH, stated: “The study at the Aachen University Hospital clearly demonstrated the usefulness of our LiMAx test in obesity-related liver diseases and represents the first study to noninvasively assess the impact of weight loss on changes in the liver function. The dramatic increase of obesity and obesity-associated diseases is a major problem in the Western world. We are very pleased to provide physicians with a novel diagnostic test to better assess obesity patients and to monitor disease course and therapy success.”
The LiMAx test, together with the corresponding FLIP device and the diagnostic drug offers a clinically proven significant added value for patients with liver diseases and liver surgery.
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ILCA 2015, International Liver Cancer Association 9th Annual Conference. September 4-6, 2015. Paris,
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Based in Berlin, Germany, Humedics GmbH is specialised in rapid and accurate liver function measurement using LiMAx®, an innovative technology for analysing exhaled air. The LiMAx® test provides physicians with a method for quantitatively assessing an individual patient’s liver function capacity within minutes. This enables physicians to select treatment strategies and follow disease progression based on up-to-date knowledge of the functional health of the liver.
Current applications, which have already been published in prestigious medical journals, include liver function diagnosis before and after liver transplantation, surgical planning for liver surgery (such as assessing how much liver tissue can be removed without increasing the risk of acute liver failure), and assessment of liver diseases such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. At present, more than 20 studies regarding new indications are being conducted. These include diagnosing and staging of chronic liver diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as selecting, monitoring and managing different oncology treatment options.
These studies, initiated by researchers, have already provided evidence of further potential for the LiMAx® tests. The LiMAx® test is in routine clinical use at more than 30 leading university hospitals in Europe. So far, more than 20,000 LiMAx® tests have been performed. The LiMAx® test is commercially available in Germany, Austria and the UK.