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Transl Res. 2007 Mar;149(3):114-25.

Noninvasive assessment of fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

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Department of Internal Medicine, Universit√° Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy.


The term "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease" (NAFLD) encompasses a wide range of pathological conditions ranging from accumulation of fat (fatty liver) to various degrees of inflammation and fibrosis (NASH), and finally to cryptogenic cirrhosis and its clinical sequelae (HCC, liver decompensation). The progression from one stage to the next can be triggered by genetic and environmental factors alone and also through their interaction. Fatty liver is known to follow a benign course, whereas the presence of inflammation, ballooning degeneration, and fibrosis, which are typical features of NASH, can lead to cirrhosis. Despite the serious risks associated with NASH, there are few tools for monitoring the progression of the disease and identification of high-risk patients. The aim of this article is to review the pros and cons of some noninvasive methods for assessing liver fibrosis in NASH.

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