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Fatty liver disease and obesity in youth

Della Corte, Claudia; Mazzotta, Anna Rita; Nobili, Valerio

Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity: February 2016 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 66–71
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000221
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: Edited by Lynne L. Levitsky
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Purpose of review The purpose of this short review is to summarize recent developments in the understanding of pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), focusing on novel findings in pathogenetic mechanisms and the therapeutic armamentarium.

Recent findings As a result of the increasing prevalence of pediatric obesity, NAFLD has rapidly become the most common cause of chronic hepatopathies in children. Lifestyle modification and diet remain the mainstay of treatment of pediatric obesity and NAFLD, but with disappointing results because of the difficulty in obtaining sustained long-term results. Considering the risk of progression of liver damage to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease, in the last decades scientific research in this field has been directed to the identification of pathogenetic mechanisms and possible therapeutic strategies for NAFLD.

Summary We describe the therapeutic options for the management of pediatric NAFLD, focusing on emerging alternative strategies, including surgical approaches and new drugs directed against novel potential molecular targets.

Hepatometabolic Department and Liver Research Unit, ‘Bambino Gesù’ Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Professor Valerio Nobili, Hepatometabolic Disease Unit, ‘Bambino Gesù’ Children's Hospital, IRCCS, P.le S. Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy. Tel/. fax: +39 06 68592192; e-mail: valerio.nobili@opbg.net

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