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Editorial: “Lean” NAFLD: Metabolic Obesity with Normal BMI… Is It in the Genes?

Argo, Curtis K MD, MS1; Henry, Zachary H MD, MS1

American Journal of Gastroenterology: January 2017 - Volume 112 - Issue 1 - p 111–113
doi: 10.1038/ajg.2016.527

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease. “Lean” NAFLD represents a patient subpopulation with hepatic steatosis evident on imaging with normal BMI. This paper by Feldman and Ederet al.illustrates the mild but clear metabolic differences and genetic connections in Caucasian lean NAFLD patients compared with obese NAFLD and healthy controls. Their findings highlight key similarities of lean and obese NAFLD compared with lean healthy subjects. This paper characterizes “lean” NAFLD as a unique phenotype with specific genetic associations deserving of further investigation in the greater scheme of elucidating the pathophysiology of fatty liver.

1Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Correspondence: Curtis K. Argo, MD, MS, Department of Medicine—Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Virginia, JPA and Lee St, PO Box 800708, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0708, USA. E-mail:

Received 02 August 2016; accepted 04 October 2016

Guarantor of the article: Curtis K. Argo, MD, MS.

Specific author contributions: Both authors have together prepared and approved the final draft submitted.

Financial Support: None.

Potential competing interests: None.

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2017. All Rights Reserved.
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