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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3689375, 6 pages
Research Article

Association between Plasmatic Ceramides Profile and AST/ALT Ratio: C14:0 Ceramide as Predictor of Hepatic Steatosis in Adolescents Independently of Obesity

Laboratorio de Espectrometría de Masas, Unidad de Investigación Médica en Nutrición, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, IMSS, Ciudad de México, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Jorge Maldonado-Hernández

Received 7 February 2017; Accepted 16 April 2017; Published 28 May 2017

Academic Editor: Kevork M. Peltekian

Copyright © 2017 Jorge Maldonado-Hernández et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To assess the association between plasma ceramides and hepatic steatosis (HS) in adolescents, independently of obesity. Materials and Methods. Ninety-four adolescents from two previous studies conducted and published by our crew were included. Study subjects were stratified in three groups: normal weight (), obesity (), and obesity + HS (). The presence of HS was defined when ALT/AST ratio was <1. Ceramides subspecies (C14:0, C16:0, C18:0, C24:0, and C24:1) were determined by LC/MS. Results. All ceramides correlated directly with ALT levels and inversely with ALT/AST ratio; the strongest correlation was observed among C14:0 ceramide ( and , resp.; ). Furthermore, significant correlations were observed between cholesterol and all ceramides except for C24:1 ceramide. Interestingly ceramides C14:0, C18:0, and C24:1 correlated directly with both fasting insulin and HOMA-IR index. For assessing HS, a cut-off point of 10.3 nmol/L for C14:0 ceramide reported a sensitivity of 92.7% and a specificity of 73.5% when normal weight and obesity groups () were compared against obesity + HS group (). Positive and negative predictive values were 77.5% and 90.2%, respectively. Conclusions. Plasma ceramides are closely associated with hepatic steatosis in adolescents. C14:0 ceramide could be a novel biomarker of HS independently of obesity.