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Revista de investigación clínica

Print version ISSN 0034-8376

Abstract

MENDEZ SANCHEZ, Nahum; CHAVEZ-TAPIA, Norberto C.  and  URIBE, Misael. An update on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Rev. invest. clín. [online]. 2004, vol.56, n.1, pp.72-82. ISSN 0034-8376.

Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is a disease of emerging identity and importance. It is frequently associated with obesity, especially visceral fat, and is intimately related to fatty liver and markers of insulin resistance. Both the prevalence and the severity of liver steatosis are related to body mass index, waist circumference, hyperinsulinaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia and impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. The identification fatty liver disease in obese patients, is very important in order to prevent complications such as steathohepatitis and cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of non alcoholic fatty liver disease is very complex, there are mitochondrial morphologic and functional alterations, as well as, high sensitivity to injurious stimulus, an increased inflammatory activity, and modifications in cellular metabolism at post-receptor level. Weight reduction is one of the first steps in the treatment of patients with non alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as the management of associated conditions such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidaemia. Antioxidants, and others drugs such as ursodeoxycholic acid may be beneficial in the treatment of non alcoholic fatty liver disease. These medications, however, need first to be tested in well-controlled trials with clinically relevant end-points and extended follow-up. In this review, we analyze the new concepts in epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of this disease.

Keywords : Non alcoholic fatty liver disease; Steatohepatitis; Obesity; Insulin resistance; Weight reduction; Antioxidants.

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