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Liver tissue area occupied by CD36-positive cells was measured using a high-resolution digital video camera (Nikon DXM 1200, Tokyo, Japan) connected to a light microscope (Nikon Eclipse E400) equipped with a Plan-Apocromat 20?�� objective (Nikon). Subsequently, image analysis procedures were performed with the analySISR software (Soft Imaging System Gmbh, M��nster, Germany). Values were obtained in six different lobular areas where hepatocytes are the predominant cell type. The average value was considered as the CD36 expression index for each liver biopsy sample and expressed as the percentage of liver tissue area occupied by CD36-expressing cells. Categorical variables are presented as frequency and percentage. Continuous variables are expressed as central tendency (mean and median) and dispersion (standard deviation and interquartile range) measures as appropriate. Categorical clinical data between groups were compared by Pearson's chi-squared test. Quantitative variables were analyzed using t test and one-way anova for normal distributional data, or Mann�CWhitney U test and Kruskal�CWallis test for highly skewed data. Relationship between the independent variable (sCD36) and the ordinal variable (grade of steatosis) was tested by the Cochran�CArmitage test for trend. Correlations between the independent variable (sCD36) and continuous variables were evaluated by Spearman's correlation coefficient (��). Multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for confounders was used to test the independence of the associations of dependent variable (steatosis grade �� 2, advanced steatosis) with its significant correlates in univariate models and with those considered of clinical interest. To assess diagnostic accuracy of serum sCD36 levels and other variables associated with advanced steatosis in NAFLD patients, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves and area under the ROC curve (AUROC) were carried out. Statistical tests were two-sided, and significance was set at a value of P? Release 11, College Station, TX, USA). Stratified by the histological diagnosis, characteristics of all patients included in this study are shown in Table?1. Noteworthily, all patient groups were well matched in terms of age, but women were predominant in NAFLD and NL, whereas men were more frequent in CHC cohort. Mean BMI was significantly higher in NAFLD patients than in both NL and CHC patients, and metabolic abnormalities were also more common in NAFLD, with higher triglycerides and a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome.