Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India

PubMedID: 15926603

Das K, Kar P. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. J Assoc Physicians India. 2005;53195-9.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) represents only a part of a wide spectrum of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its prevalence is only 2 - 3% in the general population. Obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and female sex are important risk factors for NASH. Two hit theory describes very well the pathogenesis of NASH wherein hepatic steatosis, the first hit is followed up by the second hit, one of which may be reactive oxygen species. Mitochondria is the main source of reactive oxygen species which may trigger steatohepatitis by lipid peroxidation, cytokine induction or induction of fas-ligand. Insulin resistance syndrome is the only metabolic syndrome that has been consistently associated with NASH. The diagnosis rests on the hallmark histological features and rigorous exclusion of significant alcohol consumption. Most patients are asymptomatic, have mild-to-moderate elevations of serum aminotransferase levels, clinical hepatomegaly and features of fatty liver on imaging. Liver biopsy is essential for positive diagnosis and prognostication of NASH. Histologically, fat deposition is typically macrovesicular and inflammation of steatohepatitis is predominantly lobular. Neutrophilic cells in lobular inflammatory infilterate are a distinguishing feature of steatohepatitis and differentiate it from other chronic hepatitis. The pattern of collagen deposition is perivenular & peri-sinusoidal spaces in zone 3. NASH is a progressive disease in more than one in four and has spontaneous regression in less than one in six. Therapy options include weight reduction in obese, good control in diabetics and exercise. Ursodeoxycholic acid has membrane stabilizing, cytoprotective and immunological effect and normalizes raised transaminases. Liver transplantation has been done in NASH but transplanted liver shows re-development in more than two thirds. Many more therapies are in the pipeline and show promise for the future.