Biomarkers of Metabolic (Dysfunction)-associated Fatty Liver Disease: An Update

J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2022 Feb 28;10(1):134-139. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2021.00248. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


The prevalence of metabolic (dysfunction)-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is rapidly increasing and affects up to two billion individuals globally, and this has also resulted in increased risks for cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver transplants. In addition, it has also been linked to extrahepatic consequences, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and various types of cancers. However, only a small proportion of patients with MAFLD develop these complications. Therefore, the identification of high-risk patients is paramount. Liver fibrosis is the major determinant in developing these complications. Although, liver biopsy is still considered the gold standard for the assessment of patients with MAFLD. Because of its invasive nature, among many other limitations, the search for noninvasive biomarkers for MAFLD remains an area of intensive research. In this review, we provide an update on the current and future biomarkers of MAFLD, including a discussion of the associated genetics, epigenetics, microbiota, and metabolomics. We also touch on the next wave of multiomic-based biomarkers.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Metabolic (dysfunction)-associated fatty liver disease; Scores.

Publication types

  • Review