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Metabolic steatosis: recent scientific data also support a change in nomenclature

Journal Volume 86 - 2023
Issue Fasc.1 - Letters
Author(s) N. Lanthier 1 2, M.J. Armstrong 3 4
Full article
Full Article
PAGES 105-106
(1) Service d’Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
(2) Laboratory of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
(3) Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
(4) Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Two years ago, many experts spoke out in favour of changing the nomenclature of the most common liver disease in the world, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (1). This was the subject of an editorial in the Acta Gastroenterologica Belgica Journal (1). Even though many researchers still mention that its pathophysiology remains poorly understood or that the exact mechanisms remain to be elucidated, it would be dishonest not to recognise a common factor, namely the metabolic context (metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and possibly type 2 diabetes, overweight or obesity) in the pathogenesis of this liver disease (1). The term “MAFLD” for “metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease” therefore makes sense. It is indeed more logical to call something by what it is than by what it is not (1). The perceived stigma of patients using the term “alcoholic” in naming their disease also supports an adaptation of the nomenclature (2).

Keywords: MAFLD, steatosis, ethanol, microbiome, ethylglucuronide, alcohol.

© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 36842183