At Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital Center for Digestive Health and Nutrition, your specialist will do a physical exam that includes calculating your child’s body mass index, or BMI. They also will check for an enlarged liver and other signs of fatty liver disease. Since this disease can run in families, your child’s specialist will ask whether any close relatives have been diagnosed with this condition.


The following tests also are used to diagnose fatty liver disease:


  • Blood tests. These can find increased liver enzyme levels that may indicate fatty liver disease.
  • Imaging tests. An ultrasound test uses safe, painless sound waves to create images of the liver. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses radio waves and magnets to produce these images.
  • Liver biopsy. The doctor numbs the area and inserts a needle to take a small piece of tissue from the liver, which is then examined in the lab.
  • Elastography. This newer technique measures the stiffness and elasticity of soft tissue in the liver. It can help diagnose scarring (fibrosis and cirrhosis).