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non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Friday 15 April 2005

NAFLD, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Definition : Fatty liver changes encompasses simple deposition of fat in the liver ( hepatocytic steatosis ) and steatohepatitis .

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as a major cause of chronic liver disease in association with the rising prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the population.

Oxidative stress and insulin resistance (IR) are major contributors in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and in the progression from steatosis to steatohepatitis.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have a causal role in multiple forms of IR, a phenomenon that can further promote exacerbation of oxidative stress.


- hepatocytic steatosis
- steatohepatitis

  • Steatohepatitis (also known as "fatty liver disease") is a type of liver disease, characterized by inflammation of the liver with concurrent fat accumulation in liver (steato-, meaning "fat", hepatitis, meaning "inflammation of the liver").


  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one cause of a fatty liver, occurring when fat is deposited (steatosis) in the liver NOT due to excessive alcohol use.
  • It is related to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome and may respond to treatments originally developed for other insulin-resistant states (e.g. diabetes mellitus type 2) such as weight loss, metformin and thiazolidinediones.
  • A non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most extreme form of NAFLD, and is regarded as a major cause of cirrhosis of the liver of unknown cause.


- Steatohepatitis. PMN & abundant mallory bodies are clues to diagnosis.

See also

- fatty changes
- hepatic anomalies
- hepatocytic steatosis


- Videla LA, Rodrigo R, Araya J, Poniachik J. Insulin resistance and oxidative stress interdependency in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Trends Mol Med. 2006 Dec;12(12):555-8. PMID: 17049925

- Angulo P. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. N Engl J Med. 2002 Apr 18;346(16):1221-31. PMID: 11961152