Published online Oct 21, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i39.11053
Peer-review started: April 16, 2015
First decision: May 18, 2015
Revised: June 11, 2015
Accepted: August 28, 2015
Article in press: August 28, 2015
Published online: October 21, 2015
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the industrialized world. The prevalence of NAFLD is increasing, becoming a substantial public health burden. NAFLD includes a broad spectrum of disorders, from simple conditions such as steatosis to severe manifestations such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. The relationship of NAFLD with metabolic alterations such as type 2 diabetes is well described and related to insulin resistance, with NAFLD being recognized as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. However, NAFLD may also coincide with endocrine diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency or hypercortisolism. It is therefore essential to remember, when discovering altered liver enzymes or hepatic steatosis on radiological exams, that endocrine diseases can cause NAFLD. Indeed, the overall prognosis of NAFLD may be modified by treatment of the underlying endocrine pathology. In this review, we will discuss endocrine diseases that can cause NALFD. Underlying pathophysiological mechanisms will be presented and specific treatments will be reviewed.
Core tip: The review discusses the links between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and endocrine diseases, from common ones such as type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome to rare disorders such as growth hormone deficiency. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these associations are described.