The Global Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Epidemic: What a Radiologist Needs to Know

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a spectrum of disorders from a benign steatosis to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Metabolic syndrome, mainly obesity, plays an important role, both as an independent risk factor and in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. With the progressive epidemics of obesity and diabetes mellitus, the prevalence of NAFLD and its associated complications is expected to increase dramatically. Therapeutic strategies for treating NAFLD and metabolic syndrome, particularly obesity, are continuously being refined. Their goal is the prevention of NAFLD by the management of risk factors, prevention of progression of the disease, as well as management of complications, ultimately preventing morbidity and mortality. Optimal management of NAFLD and metabolic syndrome requires a multidisciplinary collaboration between the government as well as the health system including the nutritionist, primary care physician, radiologist, hepatologist, oncologist, and transplant surgeon. An awareness of the clinical presentation, risk factors, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management is of paramount importance to a radiologist, both from the clinical perspective as well as from the imaging standpoint. With expertise in imaging modalities as well as minimally invasive percutaneous endovascular therapies, radiologists play an essential role in the comprehensive management, which is highlighted in this article, with cases from our practice. We also briefly discuss transarterial embolization of the left gastric artery (LGA), a novel method that promises to have an enormous potential in the minimally invasive management of obesity, with details of a case from our practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalJournal of Clinical Imaging Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • left gastric artery embolization
  • metabolic syndrome
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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