Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Review of Management for Primary Care Providers

Rita Basu, Mazen Noureddin, Jeanne M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States and worldwide. The progressive form of NAFLD, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is a leading indication for liver transplant. Comorbidities associated with NAFLD development and NASH include type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia. Extrahepatic morbidity and mortality are considerable as NAFLD is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. Once NAFLD is diagnosed, the presence of liver fibrosis is the central determinant of hepatic prognosis. Severe liver fibrosis requires aggressive clinical management. No pharmacologic agents have regulatory approval in the United States for the treatment of NAFLD or NASH. Management is centered on efforts to reduce underlying obesity (lifestyle, medications, surgical or endoscopic interventions) and metabolic derangements (prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and others). Current pharmacologic therapy for NAFLD is limited mainly to the use of vitamin E and pioglitazone, although other agents are being investigated in clinical trials. Cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors must also be assessed and managed. Here, NAFLD evaluation, diagnosis, and management are considered in the primary care setting and endocrinology clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1700-1716
Number of pages17
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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