Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 393–398 | Cite as

Frequency and implication of focal fatty sparing in segmental homogeneous fatty liver at ultrasound

  • Size WuEmail author
  • Rong Tu
  • Guangqing Liu
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to investigate whether focal fatty sparing arises from preexisting segmental homogeneous nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL).


Patients with various patterns of fatty liver were recruited from among 16,127 people, and 132 participants with segmental homogeneous NAFL were followed during the second year. All participants underwent ultrasonography. The sonographic findings in segmental homogeneous NAFL were analyzed.


Of the 16,127 participants, 1,619 had fatty liver (10.0 %), and of these 1,568 had NAFL (9.72 %) and 51 had alcoholic fatty liver (0.31 %). Of the 1,568 patients with NAFL, 176 had homogeneous fatty liver with focal fatty sparing (11.2 %), 132 had segmental homogeneous fatty liver (8.42 %), and the rest had other patterns. At follow-up, of the 132 patients with segmental homogeneous fatty liver, 3 (2.3 %) were found to have a normal liver and 26 (19.7 %) diffuse homogeneous and heterogeneous fatty liver, and no focal fatty sparing was found (P < 0.001).


Focal fatty sparing usually does not arise in preexisting segmental homogeneous NAFL. This implies that newly appearing nodular hypoechogenicity in segmental homogeneous fatty liver is more likely to be a true lesion rather than focal fatty sparing.


Liver steatosis Focal Ultrasound 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Professor Li Huang, Ruxia Nan, and radiologists in ultrasonography Ying Guan, Enhai Zheng, Shibin Lin, Chuan Fu, and Kailiang Chen for their assistance. This study was supported by the Health Department of Hainan Province (no. 2011-47).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare there is no conflict of interest concerning this article.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingThe Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical CollegeHaikouChina
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyThe Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical CollegeHaikouChina
  3. 3.Department of UltrasoundThe Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical CollegeHaikouChina

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