Novel 3D Imaging Offers New Tool for Identifying Advanced Fibrosis in Liver

UC San Diego School of Medicine NAFLD Research Center finds MRE imaging provides highly accurate, less invasive method —

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, comprises a group of liver disorders whose prevalence is widespread and rising. It’s estimated that at least one-third of Americans have NAFLD; among obese persons, the figure is 50 percent. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, Director of the NAFLD Research Center, is first author of the study report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Loomba is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine; and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.

Fatty Liver Disease and Scarring Have Strong Genetic Component

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say that hepatic fibrosis, which involves scarring of the liver that can result in dysfunction and, in severe cases, cirrhosis and cancer, may be as much a consequence of genetics as environmental factors.

The findings are published online in the journal Gastroenterology. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Dr. Rohit Loomba on Fatty Liver Disease: HHMI Bulletin

Dr. Rohit LoombaDr. Rohit Loomba, a UCSD hepatologist who specializes in fatty liver disease, is interviewed in an article about the disease in the Fall 2012 health bulletin from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In “The Fat You Can’t See,” Loomba describes the rising incidence of fatty liver disease and points to society’s general increase in dietary sugar intake as a major cause. He emphasizes the importance of identifying individuals who are at highest risk for developing the disease and he predicts there will be a dramatic increase in our understanding of the disease in the next five years.

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, is assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology. He also holds an appointment in the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.

Loomba conducts his clinical practice in UC San Diego Health System’s liver disease clinics. In his research laboratory, he conducts a variety of studies of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including a number of clinical trials.

With a four-year mentored patient-oriented research career development grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Loomba is investigating the genetic epidemiology of NAFLD in a twin-pair study. In that work, his mentors are UCSD researchers Daniel T. O’Connor, MD, professor of medicine and pharmacology; Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD, distinguished professor and chief of the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine; and David Brenner, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine.

Loomba serves as the UCSD site principal investigator for the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH-CRN) studies in adult patients with NAFLD. NASH-CRN, an NIDDK-sponsored research consortium funded via a UO1 research program-cooperative agreement mechanism, aims to improve understanding of the natural history, pathophysiology and management of NAFLD.

In addition, he is the founding director and principal investigator of the San Diego Integrated NAFLD Research Consortium (SINC), which includes four centers: UCSD, Kaiser Permanente Health System, Sharp Health System, and Balboa Naval Medical Center. SINC is a collaborative network that allows community-based patients to participate in NAFLD studies conducted at UCSD.

Loomba has established a major NAFLD research program at UCSD with recently published investigator-initiated treatment studies in NASH (Le et al., Hepatology September 2012) and several in progress.

In various NAFLD translational research studies currently ongoing at UCSD, Loomba collaborates with Drs. Jerrold Olefsky, David Brenner, Claude Sirlin, Bernd Schnabl, Lars Eckmann, Edward Dennis, Ariel Feldstein and Ekihiro Seki.

He also directs the UCSD fellowship training program in liver epidemiology and patient-oriented outcomes research.

More Information:

Modest Alcohol Use Lowers Risk and Severity of Some Liver Disease

People with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD) who consume alcohol in modest amounts – no more than one or two servings per day – are half as likely to develop hepatitis as non-drinkers with the same condition, reports a national team of scientists led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest
Senior author Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, MD, is associate professor of clinical pediatrics at UC San Diego and a pediatric gastroenterologist at Rady Children’s Hospital. Research collaborator and first author Winston Dunn, MD, now assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Motility at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, completed a gastroenterology fellowship at UC San Diego in 2009.

The article citation:
Modest alcohol consumption is associated with decreased prevalence of steatohepatitis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by Winston Dunn, Arun J. Sanyal, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Aynur Unalp-Arida, Michael Donohue, Arthur J. McCullough, Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, for the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) Journal of Hepatology (Vol.null)

Read the abstract online