Evidence based literature review of clinical management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in real world settings
Keywords:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, Ursodeoxycholic acid
The aim of the present review is to understand the gap between real world clinical practices, guidelines recommendations and to propose minimum essentials that can be followed in clinical practice in NAFLD patients in India. A detailed literature search of published medical reports in English language was performed on electronic databases such as PubMed and Cochrane, from 2000 to 2016 using relevant search terms. The search yielded 25 relevant articles whose full texts were retrieved and evaluated. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging cause of liver disease in India. It is observed that physicians under appreciate the overlap between NAFLD and metabolic risk factors, thus missing a significant proportion of high-risk NAFLD patients. Lifestyle intervention is generally considered the first line therapy for patients with NAFLD without steatohepatitis while pharmacotherapy (in addition to lifestyle intervention) is suggested for patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Current therapies are directed towards improving the metabolic parameters which contribute to disease pathogenesis. Pharmacological therapies for NAFLD and NASH include antioxidants such as vitamin E and ursodeoxycholic acid; insulin sensitizers such as metformin and thiazolidinones, weight loss drugs like orlistat and consideration of bariatric surgery for morbidly obese patients. High degree of suspicion is necessary for diagnosing NAFLD in patients with metabolic risk factors. Further studies are required from India as genotype/clinico-pathological profile of Indian NAFLD patients differ from the western population. Further, prospective studies will fill the various missing links associated with management of NAFLD in Indian patients in a more effective manner.
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