Pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a critical appraisal of current data and implications for future research

Heather M Patton, Claude Sirlin, Cynthia Behling, Michael Middleton, Jeffrey B Schwimmer, Joel E Lavine
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2006, 43 (4): 413-27
Although population prevalence is very difficult to establish, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is probably the most common cause of liver disease in the preadolescent and adolescent age groups. There seems to be an increase in the prevalence of NAFLD, likely related to the dramatic rise in the incidence of obesity during the past 3 decades. Despite an increase in public awareness, overweight/obesity and related conditions, such as NAFLD, remain underdiagnosed by health care providers. Accurate diagnosis and staging of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) requires liver biopsy. The development of noninvasive surrogate markers and the advancements in imaging technology will aid in the screening of large populations at risk for NAFLD. Two distinct histological patterns of NASH have been identified in the pediatric population, and discrete clinical and demographic features are observed in children with these 2 patterns. The propensity for NASH to develop in obese, insulin-resistant pubertal boys of Hispanic ethnicity or a non-Hispanic white race may provide clues to the pathogenesis of NAFLD in children. The natural history of pediatric NASH has yet to be defined, but most biopsies in this age group demonstrate some degree of fibrosis. In addition, cirrhosis can be observed in children as young as 10 years. While the optimal treatment of pediatric NAFLD has yet to be determined, lifestyle modification through diet and exercise should be attempted in children diagnosed with NAFLD. A large, multicenter trial of vitamin E and metformin is underway as part of the NASH clinical research network.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"