Author(s): Kaser S, Ebenbichler CF, Tilg H
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) comprises a disease spectrum ranging from simple steatosis and steatohepatitis to cirrhosis. Based on its strongest risk factors namely visceral obesity and insulin resistance, NAFLD is thought to be the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and is considered to be the most common liver disorder in Western countries. Pathophysiological mechanisms include an enlarged pool of fatty acids, subclinical inflammation, oxidative stress and imbalances of various adipocytokines such as adiponectin. Accordingly, targets for therapeutic interventions are miscellaneous: amelioration of obesity by pharmacological, surgical or lifestyle intervention has been evaluated with success in numerous, but not all studies. Some efficacy was reported for metformin and short-term glitazone treatment. In a large recently reported trial, vitamin E supplementation improved biochemical and histological markers in subjects with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Blockade of the endocannabinoid system has been proposed to be a promising target in NAFLD; however, very recently the cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant has been withdrawn because of central nervous system toxicity. Cytoprotective therapies and statins have been mainly ineffective in NAFLD. New but so far insufficiently studied therapeutic approaches include inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system as well as incretin mimetics respectively.
This article was published in Int J Clin Pract
and referenced in Journal of Metabolic Syndrome