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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 450639, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/450639
Review Article

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Disease: Newer Data

2nd Medical Department and Diabetes Center, NIMTS Hospital, 12 Monis Petraki, 11521 Athens, Greece

Received 9 March 2013; Accepted 12 March 2013

Academic Editor: Nikolaos Papanas

Copyright © 2013 A. N. Mavrogiannaki and I. N. Migdalis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common, chronic liver disease worldwide. Within this spectrum, steatosis alone is apparently benign, while nonalcoholic steatohepatitis may progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is strongly associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. The pathogenesis of hepatic steatosis is not clearly known, but its main characteristics are considered insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased free fatty acids reflux from adipose tissue to the liver, hepatocyte lipotoxicity, stimulation of chronic necroinflammation, and fibrogenic response. With recent advances in technology, advanced imaging techniques provide important information for diagnosis. There is a significant research effort in developing noninvasive monitoring of disease progression to fibrosis and response to therapy with potential novel biomarkers, in order to facilitate diagnosis for the detection of advanced cirrhosis and to minimize the need of liver biopsy. The identification of NAFLD should be sought as part of the routine assessment of type 2 diabetics, as sought the microvascular complications and cardiovascular disease, because it is essential for the early diagnosis and proper intervention. Diet, exercise training, and weight loss provide significant clinical benefits and must be considered of first line for treating NAFLD.