Extra-hepatic manifestations and complications of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Abstract

This review article aims to synthesize the evidence regarding nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a systemic disorder. We critically discuss the metabolic syndrome and its components; the cardiovascular and the endocrine system; chronic respiratory disorders; the musculoskeletal system; the skin; and extrahepatic tumors. We conclude that, while some of these extra-hepatic conditions clearly predispose to the development of secondary forms of NAFLD (typically hypothyroidism-induced NAFLD), others result from pre-existent NAFLD (e.g., certain extra-hepatic tumors) and others (such as Type 2 Diabetes) have, with NAFLD, mutual and bidirectional associations. Analyzed data imply that NAFLD is not merely a hepatic disease. It is also and possibly more importantly, a systemic disorder requiring a special awareness, a multidisciplinary approach and a multidimensional vision

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