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Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Annals in the Clinic

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of chronic liver disease. Most cases are diagnosed incidentally in the primary care or hospital setting on the basis of elevated liver enzyme levels or hepatic steatosis on imaging. NAFLD encompasses a wide spectrum: The vast majority of patients have nonprogressive nonalcoholic fatty liver, and a few of those develop progressive liver injury, inflammation, and fibrosis, a condition termed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Persons with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis have increased liver-related mortality. In the absence of regulatory agency–approved drugs, lifestyle modification and weight loss remain the cornerstones of NAFLD therapy.


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Journal Articles


Annals in the Clinic

Annals In the Clinic is a monthly feature in Annals of Internal Medicine introduced in January 2007 that focuses on practical management of patients with common clinical conditions. It offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about screening, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and patient education and provides physicians with tools to improve the quality of care.