Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a poorly understood and hitherto unnamed liver disease that histologically mimics alcoholic hepatitis and that also may progress to cirrhosis. Described here are findings in 20 patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis of unknown cause. The biopsy specimens were characterized by the presence of striking fatty changes with evidence of lobular hepatitis, focal necroses with mixed inflammatory infiltrates, and, in most instances, Mallory bodies; Evidence of fibrosis was found in most specimens, and cirrhosis was diagnosed in biopsy tissue from three patients. The disease was more common in women. Most patients were moderately obese, and many had obesity-associated diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and cholelithiasis. Presence of hepatomegaly and mild abnormalities of liver function were common clinical findings. Currently, we know of no effective therapy.