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World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Oct 21;21(39):11053-76. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i39.11053.

Endocrine causes of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Laura Marino, François R Jornayvaz, Service of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Lausanne University Hospital, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the industrialized world. The prevalence of NAFLD is increasing, becoming a substantial public health burden. NAFLD includes a broad spectrum of disorders, from simple conditions such as steatosis to severe manifestations such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. The relationship of NAFLD with metabolic alterations such as type 2 diabetes is well described and related to insulin resistance, with NAFLD being recognized as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. However, NAFLD may also coincide with endocrine diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency or hypercortisolism. It is therefore essential to remember, when discovering altered liver enzymes or hepatic steatosis on radiological exams, that endocrine diseases can cause NAFLD. Indeed, the overall prognosis of NAFLD may be modified by treatment of the underlying endocrine pathology. In this review, we will discuss endocrine diseases that can cause NALFD. Underlying pathophysiological mechanisms will be presented and specific treatments will be reviewed.


Endocrine diseases; Insulin resistance; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes

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