Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more aggressive form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are entities that are becoming more and more interesting to the medical community in general. The increased prevalence of diabetes, obesity, hypertension and hyper-triglyceridemia are considered to be important causes for NAFLD. The prognosis of simple NAFLD is generally benign. But fibrosis, ballooning of the hepatocytes, inflammation and Mallory bodies are indicators of progression to cirrhosis. Although liver biopsy is currently the gold standard for diagnosis, there is a need for developing less invasive methods, and hence there is no effective medical therapy available for NAFLD. A better understanding of the pathogenesis and natural history of NASH will help identify the subset of patients at risk of progressing to advanced liver disease.
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D. M. Vasudevan, Das, S. K., and Mukherjee, S., “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: An under-recognized cause with emerging importance”, Current Science, vol. 90, pp. 659-665, 2006.