Published online Jun 8, 2017. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v9.i16.715
Peer-review started: December 19, 2016
First decision: January 28, 2017
Revised: February 8, 2017
Accepted: April 18, 2017
Article in press: April 20, 2017
Published online: June 8, 2017
Core tip: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing epidemic, not only in the United States, but worldwide in part due to obesity and insulin resistance leading to liver accumulation of triglycerides and free fatty acids. NAFLD patients are at increased risk of liver-related as well as cardiovascular mortality, and NAFLD is rapidly becoming the leading indication for liver transplantation. Numerous risk factors for the development of NAFLD have been espoused with most having some form of metabolic derangement or insulin resistance at the core of its pathophysiology. However, the exact pathogenic mechanism of NAFLD still remains unclear, and there is no effective treatment yet so far. In this review we summarized the current knowledge of NAFLD epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis, pathogenesis, pathologic changes, natural history, and treatment.