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The diagnostic and initial approach of the patient with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: role of the primary care provider

Nicolás Salva-Pastor, Norberto C. Chávez-Tapia, Misael Uribe, Natalia Nuño-Lámbarri




Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a broad spectrum of liver damage, ranging from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis and fibrosis; as well, there is a close association between NAFLD, obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is a certain degree of uncertainty regarding the natural history and prognosis of NAFLD; however, several methods are currently used for its diagnostic approach. In the first instance, non-invasive tests could be used to identify patients at low risk of developing fibrosis and to establish more easily the need for a liver biopsy, whose accuracy in the evaluation of fibrosis has been questioned, mainly due to errors of intra and interobserver sampling, technical problems and cost, which limits its use. Therefore, it is essential to determine the diagnostic strategy for patients with NAFLD.

Keywords: Fibrosis, Liver, Steatohepatitis, Steatosis.

(Please cite as Salva-Pastor N, Chávez-Tapia NC, Uribe M, Nuño-Lámbarri N. Diagnostic and initial approach of the patient with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: role of the primary care provider. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench 2019;12(4):267-277).


Fibrosis, Liver, Steatohepatitis, Steatosis.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ghfbb.v12i4.1505