Serum levels of endotrophin are associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Hannes Hagström, Dawei Bu, Patrik Nasr, Mattias Ekstedt, Hannes Hegmar, Stergios Kechagias, Ningyan Zhang, Zhiqiang An, Per Stål, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and aims: There are no currently available biomarkers that can accurately indicate the presence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We investigated the association between endotrophin, a cleavage product of collagen type 6α3, and disease severity in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods: We measured serum endotrophin levels in 211 patients with NAFLD and nine healthy controls. Liver biopsy data was available for 141 (67%) of the patients. Associations between endotrophin and the presence of NASH and advanced fibrosis were investigated alone and in combination with standard clinical parameters using logistic regression. Results: A total of 211 patients were enrolled in this study, consisting of 108 (51%) men and 103 (49%) women with a mean age of 55.6 years. 58 (27%) of the patients had advanced fibrosis. Of those with biopsy data, 87 (62%) had NASH. Serum levels of endotrophin were significantly higher in patients with NAFLD than those in healthy controls (37[±12] vs. 17[±7] ng/mL, p<.001). Serum levels of endotrophin were also significantly higher in patients with NASH than in those without NASH (40[±12] vs. 32[±13] ng/mL, p<.001). A model using age, sex, body mass index and levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), glucose and endotrophin effectively predicted the presence of NASH in a derivation (AUROC 0.83, 95%CI = 0.74–0.92) and validation cohort (AUROC 0.71, 95%CI = 0.54–0.88). There was no significant association between serum levels of endotrophin and advanced fibrosis. Conclusions: These data suggest that serum endotrophin could be a valuable biomarker for diagnosing NASH, but not for detecting advanced fibrosis in NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-442
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • NASH
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • diagnostic test
  • fibrosis
  • metabolic-associated fatty liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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