Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common form of liver disease in the United states, with its prevalence rising in conjunction with obesity rates. A lack of screening guidelines for fatty liver means it is most often diagnosed incidentally once patients show elevated liver enzymes or an echogenic liver on abdominal ultrasound. A recent study aims to improve the evaluation of fatty liver in abdominal imaging and identify factors that predict significant fibrosis and specialist referrals.
Patients with NAFLD are classified into 2 subgroups. NALFD is considered benign with low likelihood of progressive liver disease, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is clinically significant and can lead to progressive liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and eventually advanced disease and death. Often, patients with cirrhosis due to NASH have never had prior evaluation or diagnosis