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Fatty liver (NAFLD/MAFLD)

Fatty liver (also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver or metabolic-associated liver disease) is becoming an increasingly important cause of advanced liver disease and liver cancer. It is usually associated with increased weight and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Up to 1 in 3 Australians may be fatty liver. The proportion is higher in patients with risk factors such as obesity or diabetes.

Like most liver diseases, fatty liver usually progresses in different stages. Progression usually occurs with increasing liver fat content (steatosis) and inflammation (hepatitis). A proportion of patients will develop liver cancer, cirrhosis and end stage liver disease.

Fatty liver is treatable. A combination of physical examination, blood tests, Fibroscan and imaging is used to determine the stage of the disease. Fibroscan can help provide information about liver fat content (steatosis) and degree of scarring (fibrosis).

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