Pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): a "growing" problem?J Hepatol 2007; 46(6):1133-42JH
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can affect both adults and children. With the current worldwide epidemic of pediatric obesity, pediatric NAFLD is increasingly being diagnosed. It is not exactly identical to NAFLD in adults, and these differences may be due in part to the occurrence of hepatic metabolic derangements typical of NAFLD during periods of active growth (infancy, mid-childhood and puberty). The natural history of pediatric NAFLD is not yet known; however, children with pediatric NAFLD can develop cirrhosis. Although details of disease mechanism in pediatric NAFLD remain unclear, hyperinsulinemia with insulin resistance appears to be critical. Determining the pathogenesis of pediatric NAFLD is likely to enhance our understanding of NAFLD in all age groups and may identify new treatment opportunities. Finding effective ways to prevent pediatric NAFLD is an important issue for children's health.