Clinical differences between alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Nobuyuki Toshikuni, Mikihiro Tsutsumi, Tomiyasu Arisawa
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2014 July 14, 20 (26): 8393-406
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are serious health problems worldwide. These two diseases have similar pathological spectra, ranging from simple hepatic steatosis to steatohepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although most subjects with excessive alcohol or food intake experience simple hepatic steatosis, a small percentage of individuals will develop progressive liver disease. Notably, both ALD and NAFLD are frequently accompanied by extrahepatic complications, including cardiovascular disease and malignancy. The survival of patients with ALD and NAFLD depends on various disease-associated conditions. This review delineates the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with ALD and NAFLD by comparing their epidemiology, the factors associated with disease susceptibility and progression, and the predictors and characteristics of outcomes. A comprehensive understanding of the characteristics and outcomes of ALD and NAFLD is imperative in the management of these chronic liver diseases.

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