A multisociety Delphi consensus statement on new fatty liver disease nomenclature

Ann Hepatol. 2024 Jan-Feb;29(1):101133. doi: 10.1016/j.aohep.2023.101133. Epub 2023 Jun 24.


The principal limitations of the terms NAFLD and NASH are the reliance on exclusionary confounder terms and the use of potentially stigmatising language. This study set out to determine if content experts and patient advocates were in favor of a change in nomenclature and/or definition. A modified Delphi process was led by three large pan-national liver associations. The consensus was defined a priori as a supermajority (67%) vote. An independent committee of experts external to the nomenclature process made the final recommendation on the acronym and its diagnostic criteria. A total of 236 panelists from 56 countries participated in 4 online surveys and 2 hybrid meetings. Response rates across the 4 survey rounds were 87%, 83%, 83%, and 78%, respectively. Seventy-four percent of respondents felt that the current nomenclature was sufficiently flawed to consider a name change. The terms "nonalcoholic" and "fatty" were felt to be stigmatising by 61% and 66% of respondents, respectively. Steatotic liver disease was chosen as an overarching term to encompass the various aetiologies of steatosis. The term steatohepatitis was felt to be an important pathophysiological concept that should be retained. The name chosen to replace NAFLD was metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease. There was consensus to change the definition to include the presence of at least 1 of 5 cardiometabolic risk factors. Those with no metabolic parameters and no known cause were deemed to have cryptogenic steatotic liver disease. A new category, outside pure metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease, termed metabolic and alcohol related/associated liver disease (MetALD), was selected to describe those with metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease, who consume greater amounts of alcohol per week (140-350 g/wk and 210-420 g/wk for females and males, respectively). The new nomenclature and diagnostic criteria are widely supported and nonstigmatising, and can improve awareness and patient identification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiometabolic Risk Factors
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Ethanol
  • Female
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / diagnosis
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / epidemiology


  • Ethanol