Alcohol-like liver injury (ALLI) in non-alcoholics has not been elucidated in Japan. The present study attempted to characterize the clinicopathologic features of ALLI in routine liver biopsies. ALLI was found in 1% of 561 biopsy cases obtained from 1988 to May, 1991 at Kanazawa University Hospital. Laboratory data characteristically showed only a mild to moderate degree of dysfunction, and none of the cases exhibited jaundice. Hepatic histology showed a mild to moderate degree of perivenular, pericellular and/or portal stellate fibrosis with a varying degree of fatty change and inflammatory cell infiltration. Portal stellate fibrosis with a varying degree of cell infiltration was more severe than the centrilobular or pericellular fibrosis in all cases. Intralobular inflammatory cell infiltration was associated with spotty or single hepatocyte necrosis, but extensive hepatocyte necrosis was not observed. Neutrophil infiltration was absent or minimal, and lymphocytes predominated in all cases. Mallory bodies were rare and were found in a few hepatocytes of only one of the 7 cases. The above histologic findings in ALLI were very similar to those seen in liver disease in Japanese alcoholics, and were somewhat different from ALLI reported in Western countries. In cases in which hepatic fibrosis, characterized by pericellular, perivenular or portal stellate fibrosis dominated without apparent hepatic necrosis and inflammation, the term "non-alcoholic steatofibrosis" is more suitable to depict its liver histology, being very similar to the alcoholic fibrosis frequently seen in Japanese alcoholics.