Definition of Hepatic steatosis

Hepatic steatosis: a term used to refer to the buildup of fat within cells of the liver. This is a general term that simply refers to fat in the liver. Fatty liver can be due to alcohol use disorder and heavy consumption of alcohol as well as a group of other conditions referred to as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the US, affecting around 80 to 100 million people. Obesity and type 2 diabetes increase the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a potentially serious type of NAFLD associated with liver inflammation that can develop into scarring (cirrhosis), liver damage, which can lead to liver cancer. Fatty liver itself typically does not cause symptoms, but in some people, it may cause tiredness, an enlarged liver, and right upper abdominal pain.

Tommolino, E, MD, et al. Fatty Liver. Medscape. Updated: Apr 12, 2018.

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