The Chinese Society of Hepatology position statement on the redefinition of fatty liver disease

J Hepatol. 2021 Aug;75(2):454-461. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.05.003. Epub 2021 May 19.


Fatty liver disease associated with metabolic dysfunction is of increasing concern in mainland China, the world's most populous country. The incidence of fatty liver disease is highest in China, surpassing the incidence in European countries and the USA. An international consensus panel recently published an influential report recommending a novel definition of fatty liver disease associated with metabolic dysfunction. This recommendation includes a switch in name from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to metabolic (dysfunction)-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) and adoption of a set of positive criteria for disease diagnosis that are independent of alcohol intake or other liver diseases. Given the unique importance of this proposal, the Chinese Society of Hepatology (CSH) invited leading hepatologists and gastroenterologists representing their respective provinces and cities to reach consensus on alternative definitions for fatty liver disease from a national perspective. The CSH endorses the proposed change from NAFLD to MAFLD (supported by 95.45% of participants). We expect that the new definition will result in substantial improvements in health care for patients and advance disease awareness, public health policy, and political, scientific and funding outcomes for MAFLD in China.

Keywords: China; Consensus; MAFLD; NAFLD; voting.

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Fatty Liver / classification
  • Fatty Liver / physiopathology*
  • Gastroenterology / organization & administration
  • Gastroenterology / trends*
  • Humans