Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a comprehensive review of a growing epidemic

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Sep 14;20(34):12082-101. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i34.12082.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is quickly becoming one of the most prominent causes of liver disease worldwide. The increasing incidence of NAFLD is tied to the obesity epidemic and the subsequent metabolic derangements brought along with it. Current efforts to elucidate the mechanism and causes of the disease have answered some questions, but much remains unknown about NAFLD. The aim of this article is to discuss the current knowledge regarding the pathogenesis of the disease, as well as the current and future diagnostic, preventative, and therapeutic options available to clinicians for the management of NAFLD.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Imaging; Management; Metformin; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Pathogenesis; Prevalence; Steatohepatitis; Thiazolidinedione; Treatments; Vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Epidemics*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diagnosis
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / epidemiology*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / therapy
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors