Published online Dec 21, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i47.8263
Peer-review started: October 25, 2017
First decision: November 8, 2017
Revised: November 8, 2017
Accepted: December 4, 2017
Article in press: December 4, 2017
Published online: December 21, 2017
Core tip: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a term for a host of histological findings stemming from hepatic steatosis and remains the most common liver disease globally with increasing prevalence. The vast variation in disease presentation complicates diagnosis, leading to an underestimate of actual disease occurrence. NAFLD is associated with many metabolic comorbidities, including obesity, type II diabetes, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome. Its potential to develop into more severe liver conditions, such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, advanced fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, can lead to a state in which liver transplantation is the only treatment option available. The population at risk of developing progressive liver disease creates a challenge to the healthcare system in terms of screening for this evolving epidemic of liver disease.