Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Hepatol. Apr 28, 2015; 7(6): 846-858
Published online Apr 28, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i6.846
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: The diagnosis and management
Shehab M Abd El-Kader, Eman M Salah El-Den Ashmawy
Shehab M Abd El-Kader, Eman M Salah El-Den Ashmawy, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Shehab M Abd El-Kader, Department of Physical Therapy for Cardiopulmonary Disorders and Geriatrics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Giza 12316, Egypt
Author contributions: Abd El-Kader SM and El-Den Ashmawy EMS contributed to this paper.
Conflict-of-interest: No conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Shehab M Abd El-Kader, Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80324, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.
Telephone: +966-56-9849276
Received: May 20, 2014
Peer-review started: May 20, 2014
First decision: July 27, 2014
Revised: November 26, 2014
Accepted: January 15, 2015
Article in press: January 19, 2015
Published online: April 28, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a serious and growing clinical problem due to the growing prevalence of obesity and overweight. Histologically, it resembles alcoholic liver injury but occurs in patients who deny significant alcohol consumption. NAFLD encompasses a spectrum of conditions, ranging from benign hepatocellular steatosis to inflammatory nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The majority of hepatocellular lipids are stored as triglycerides, but other lipid metabolites, such as free fatty acids, cholesterol, and phospholipids, may also be present and play a role in disease progression. NAFLD is associated with obesity and insulin resistance and is considered the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical conditions including type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and visceral adiposity. Confirmation of the diagnosis of NAFLD can usually be achieved by imaging studies; however, staging the disease requires a liver biopsy. Current treatment relies on weight loss and exercise, although various insulin-sensitizing agents, antioxidants and medications appear promising. The aim of this review is to highlight the current information regarding epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of NAFLD as well as new information about pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of this disease.