Asc, il‐18 and galectin‐3 as biomarkers of non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis: A proof of concept study

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Non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a severe form of non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease that is growing in prevalence. Symptoms of NASH become apparent when the disease has progressed significantly. Thus, there is a need to identify biomarkers of NASH in order to detect the disease earlier and to monitor disease severity. The inflammasome has been shown to play a role in liver diseases. Here, we performed a proof of concept study of biomarker analyses (cut‐off points, positive and negative predictive values, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, and likelihood ratios) on the serum of patients with NASH and healthy controls on apoptosis‐associated speck‐like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC), interleukin (IL)‐18, Galectin‐3 (Gal‐3), and C‐reactive protein (CRP). ASC, IL‐18, and Gal‐3 were elevated in the serum of NASH patients when compared to controls. The area under the curve (AUC) for ASC was the highest (0.7317) with an accuracy of 68%, followed by IL‐18 (0.7036) with an accuracy of 66% and Gal‐3 (0.6891) with an accuracy of 61%. Moreover, we then fit a stepwise multivariate logistic regression model using ASC, IL‐18, and Gal‐3 to determine the probability of patients having a NASH diagnosis, which resulted in an AUC of 0.71 and an accuracy of 79%, indicating that combining these biomarkers increases their diagnostic potential for NASH. These results indicate that ASC, IL‐18, and Gal‐3 are reliable biomarkers of NASH and that combining these analytes increases the biomarker potential of these proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8580
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2 2020


  • ASC
  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammasome
  • Inflammation
  • NASH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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