What Does the Future Hold for Patients With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis: Diagnostic Strategies and Treatment Options in 2021 and Beyond?

Hepatol Commun. 2021 Nov;5(11):1810-1823. doi: 10.1002/hep4.1814. Epub 2021 Sep 9.


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can progress to cirrhosis and its complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma. Given that the majority of patients with NASH are asymptomatic, developing screening strategies to identify those individuals at risk for progressive NASH remains a highly unmet need. Furthermore, noninvasive tests that accurately predict disease progression as part of the natural history of NASH or regression in response to treatment are urgently needed to decrease the reliance on repeat liver biopsies. To date, there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications for NASH that can resolve steatohepatitis and lead to fibrosis regression. The lack of FDA-approved therapy has led to apathy in diagnosis and referral for specialty care. However, several therapeutic agents are rapidly progressing through the different phases of clinical trials with several already in phase 3 programs. In this review, we provide a summary of recent developments in NASH diagnostics and therapeutics that are likely to shape the future management of this underdiagnosed and undertreated disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Forecasting
  • Gastroenterology / trends*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / trends*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diagnosis*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / therapy*