Fatty liver

Fatty liver
SynonymsFatty liver disease (FLD), hepatic steatosis, simple steatosis
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease1.jpg
Micrograph showing a fatty liver (macrovesicular steatosis), as seen in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Trichrome stain.

Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis or simple steatosis, is a reversible condition wherein large vacuoles of triglyceride fat accumulate in liver cells via the process of steatosis (i.e., abnormal retention of lipids within a cell). Despite having multiple causes, fatty liver can be considered a single disease that occurs worldwide in those with excessive alcohol intake and the obese (with or without effects of insulin resistance). The condition is also associated with other diseases that influence fat metabolism.[1] When this process of fat metabolism is disrupted, the fat can accumulate in the liver in excessive amounts, thus resulting in a fatty liver.[2] It is difficult to distinguish alcoholic FLD, which is part of alcoholic liver disease, from nonalcoholic FLD (NAFLD), and both show microvesicular and macrovesicular fatty changes at different stages.

The accumulation of fat in alcoholic or non-alcoholic steatosis may also be accompanied by a progressive inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), called steatohepatitis. This more severe condition may be termed either alcoholic steatohepatitis or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Signs and symptoms


Fatty liver can develop into a fibrosis or a liver cancer.[3] For people affected by NAFLD, the 10-year survival rate was about 80%. The rate of progression of fibrosis in NASH is estimated to one per 7 years and 14 years for NAFLD, with an increasing speed.[4][5] There is a strong relationship between these pathologies and metabolic illnesses (diabetes type II, metabolic syndrome). These pathologies can also affect non-obese people, who are then at a higher risk.[3]

Less than 10% of people with cirrhotic alcoholic FLD will develop hepatocellular carcinoma,[6] the liver cancer, but up to 45% people with NASH without cirrhosis can develop hepatocellular carcinoma.[7]

Other Languages
العربية: كبد دهني
čeština: Steatóza jater
Deutsch: Fettleber
فارسی: کبد چرب
한국어: 지방간
Nederlands: Leververvetting
日本語: 脂肪肝
norsk: Steatose
português: Fígado gorduroso
suomi: Rasvamaksa
svenska: Fettlever
Tiếng Việt: Gan nhiễm mỡ
中文: 脂肪肝