Fatty liver


Fatty liver is an abnormal accumulation of fats in liver cells. The fatty liver may or may not be inflamed. Inflammation may then develop into fibrosis. Fibrosis often progresses into cirrhosis. Fatty liver (with or without fibrosis) due to any condition except alcoholism is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Common causes of fatty liver:

(1) Alcoholism; (2) Metabolic abnormalities; (3) Drugs; (4) Toxins; (5) Viruses.


Make a comprehensive diagnosis according to disease history, symptom, sign, chemical examination and liver biopsy. A diagnosis can be made on an individual based on the following criteria.
  • Clinical and/or biochemical signs of insulin resistance
  • Chronically (long duration) elevated ALT
  • Signs of fatty liver on ultrasound
  • Exclusion of other causes of elevated ALT and fatty liver.
  • Only a liver biopsy can establish a definite diagnosis and determine the severity of the condition


The treatment of fatty liver depends on treating the underlying cause. If implemented at early stage, treating the underlying cause will reverse the process of steatosis.