The diagnostic evaluation of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) relies on the initial detection of hepatomegaly or elevated serum aminotransferases by the primary care provider. In this investigation, the aptitude of the primary care provider to identify children with hepatomegaly and initiate an evaluation for NAFLD is determined. The physical examination findings and requests for diagnostic testing of 18 primary care physicians (and pediatric gastroenterologists) on 11 obese school-aged children, including a subset of children with hepatomegaly and NAFLD, were analyzed. In children with NAFLD, clinicians detected hepatomegaly in 1.4% of encounters and requested serum liver chemistries in 12.5% of encounters. Hepatomegaly is detected poorly in obese children by primary care physicians and thereby increases the likelihood of a delayed or omitted evaluation for NAFLD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health