Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and lipids.

Thursday, 23 August, 2012


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article reviews the mechanisms leading to the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and the effects of hypoglycaemic and lipid-lowering therapies on NAFLD/NASH.

RECENT FINDINGS: The interaction of lipogenesis, fatty acid oxidation, inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress and hepatic insulin resistance contribute to the pathogenesis of NAFLD/NASH. Few large scale clinical trials exist with biopsy or magnetic resonance endpoints as opposed to ultrasonographic and transaminase endpoints. Trial evidence that exists supports the utility of weight loss, metformin, thiazolidinediones, fibrates, niacin, ezetimibe and statins in improving the steatosis component of NAFLD/NASH though with less or minimal effects on the fibrotic component of NASH.

SUMMARY: Hypoglycaemic and lipid-lowering therapies may have a role in the treatment of NAFLD/NASH but large scale endpoint trials remain to be performed.

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Published: 2012 Aug;23(4):345-52. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3283541cfc.