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J Lipid Res. 2011 Apr;52(4):593-617. doi: 10.1194/jlr.R008896. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Genetic determinants of hepatic steatosis in man.

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Department of Core Clinical Pathology and Biochemistry, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Australia.


Hepatic steatosis is one of the most common liver disorders in the general population. The main cause of hepatic steatosis is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), representing the hepatic component of the metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by type 2 diabetes, obesity, and dyslipidemia. Insulin resistance and excess adiposity are considered to play key roles in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Although the risk factors for NAFLD are well established, the genetic basis of hepatic steatosis is largely unknown. Here we review recent progress on genomic variants and their association with hepatic steatosis and discuss the potential impact of these genetic studies on clinical practice. Identifying the genetic determinants of hepatic steatosis will lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis and progression of NAFLD.

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