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Volume 86 - 2023 - Fasc.1 - Letters

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

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).