Fatty liver associated with metabolic dysfunction is common, affects a quarter of the population, and has no approved drug therapy. Although pharmacotherapies are in development, response rates appear modest. The heterogeneous pathogenesis of metabolic fatty liver diseases and inaccuracies in terminology and definitions necessitate a reappraisal of nomenclature to inform clinical trial design and drug development. A group of experts sought to integrate current understanding of patient heterogeneity captured under the acronym nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and provide suggestions on terminology that more accurately reflects pathogenesis and can help in patient stratification for management. Experts reached consensus that NAFLD does not reflect current knowledge, and metabolic (dysfunction) associated fatty liver disease “MAFLD” was suggested as a more appropriate overarching term. This opens the door for efforts from the research community to update the nomenclature and subphenotype the disease to accelerate the translational path to new treatments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding Mohammed Eslam and Jacob George are supported by the Robert W. Storr Bequest to the Sydney Medical Foundation, University of Sydney; a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Program Grant (APP1053206, APP1149976); and Project Grants (APP1107178 and APP1108422). Philip N. Newsome, on the international consensus panel, is funded and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care or the NHS.
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