Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of cirrhosis and liver failure globally. Despite its broad impact, screening recommendations for NAFLD remain varied based between gastrointestinal societies. Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) has emerged as a new form of screening and diagnosing intrabdominal pathologies including NAFLD. We aimed to estimate the effectiveness of POCUS in screening for NAFLD compared to formal ultrasound when screening by general practitioners trained in ultrasonography. Data was collected from Cochrane, PubMed, Embase, and Google Scholar using search terms related to POCUS and NAFLD screening. Observational cross-sectional studies were included in our analysis. Reviewers evaluated articles for eligibility and extracted data for analysis. The risk of bias was assessed by reviewers using a validated risk of bias assessment tool. Discrepancies between authors were resolved by a third reviewer or by consensus. Our review found 3 studies (n = 428) that met our eligibility criteria. Our review found that POCUS was 93% sensitive and 98% specific when screening for NAFLD compared to formal ultrasound. We concluded that POCUS is an acceptable method of screening for NAFLD when used by general practitioners trained in ultrasonography. Further, more robust, studies are required to validate the findings of our review and elucidate further horizons on this emerging screening method.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD, NASH, Liver failure, Point of care ultrasound, POCUS, Screening