Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is probably the most common cause of liver disease in the pediatric community. It is closely associated with obesity and insulin resistance. NAFLD may lead to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Although NASH is a prerequisite for the definition of NAFLD in adults and children, distinct differences are often apparent in the extent or location of fat, inflammation and fibrosis. Confirmation of the diagnosis of NAFLD can usually be achieved by imaging studies; however, staging the disease requires a liver biopsy. Current treatment relies on weight loss and exercise, although various insulin-sensitizing agents, antioxidants and medications appear promising. The aim of this review is to summarize what is known about pediatric NAFLD in terms of prevalence, pathogenesis, diagnosis, histology and treatment.
- Liver disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver