Determining the role for uric acid in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis development and the utility of urate metabolites in diagnosis: An opinion review

World J Gastroenterol. 2020 Apr 21;26(15):1683-1690. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i15.1683.


There has long been a recognised association between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the composite aspects of the metabolic syndrome. Part of this association highlighted the supposed co-existence of elevated uric acid levels in those with NAFLD. There is interest in exploitation of this as a putative diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in NAFLD. Given the increased economic and health burden associated with the NAFLD epidemic, improved methods of population-based, minimally-invasive methods and biomarkers are clearly highly sought and necessary. In this opinion review we review the proposed role of uric acid in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and its potential utilisation in the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease process.

Keywords: Fatty liver index; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; Non-invasive fibrosis markers; Urate; Uric acid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia / blood
  • Hyperuricemia / complications*
  • Hyperuricemia / diagnosis
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / blood
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diagnosis
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / etiology*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Uric Acid / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Uric Acid