The increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome in the United States are leading to more cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its most aggressive subtype, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are now being encountered at a greater frequency in clinical practice. NASH can lead to significant morbidity and mortality, including liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)—in fact, HCC caused by NASH is now the second leading cause of liver transplants in the US and poised to become the leading cause of liver transplants by 2020.
Thus, clinicians in several therapeutic areas may treat or possibly encounter patients with diagnosed or undiagnosed NASH, and being aware of this disease is crucial for the early recognition, diagnosis and management in order to improve outcomes. NASH, described as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome, remains challenging to diagnose and treat, but significant advances have been made in the recent years. This activity will discuss the increasing prevalence and clinical significance of NASH, current and emerging diagnostic methods, what can be done now to manage it, and emerging treatment options that are in advanced clinical development.