Current therapeutic strategies in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Dowman JK., Armstrong MJ., Tomlinson JW., Newsome PN.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a spectrum of disease ranging from simple steatosis through steatohepatitis (NASH) to increasing fibrosis and eventual cirrhosis. NAFLD is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and has now become the most common cause of liver disease in Western countries, with the more advanced stages of disease being associated with an increased risk of liver-related morbidity and mortality. The optimal management of patients with NAFLD remains a clinical challenge. The aim of this study is to describe established and emerging strategies for the treatment of NAFLD. Relevant research and review articles were identified by searching PubMed. Selected articles referenced in these publications were also examined. Good quality randomized controlled studies have demonstrated the need for multifaceted lifestyle interventions in patients with NAFLD including the need for diet, exercise and behavioural counselling. Despite several trials of pharmacological agents, no highly effective treatment yet exists, with surgery representing the mainstay for advanced disease. A multidisciplinary approach, with a major focus on lifestyle change, represents best treatment pending the development of new therapeutic options.