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Progress is impossible without change: understanding the evolving nomenclature of steatotic liver disease and its effect on hepatology practice

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Helen Jarvis, Dr Dina Mansour, Professor Stuart McPhersonORCiD


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© 2024The American, European, and Latin American liver societies have proposed a change in the nomenclature we use to describe alcohol-related liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Additionally, a term encompassing both is now advocated: steatotic liver disease, which includes metabolic dysfunction associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) and MASLD with greater alcohol consumption (MetALD). These classifications offer increased relevance for clinicians, researchers, and patients alike. In this Viewpoint, we discuss the basis for this nomenclature shift and how it was developed. We also explore the challenges that will be faced in the adoption of such change. The proposed change seeks to banish stigma associated with phrasing such as alcoholic and fatty. However stigma, particularly related to the term fatty, is culturally nuanced, and reflects different entities depending on location. If such a change is internationally accepted, there will be wide-reaching effects on practitioners in primary care and metabolic medicine, and on patients. We discuss those effects and the opportunities the nomenclature change could offer, particularly for patients with alcohol and metabolic risk factors who represent a group previously ignored by clinical trials.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brennan PN, Tavabie OD, Li W, Marjot T, Corless L, Fallowfield JA, Jarvis H, Mansour D, McPherson S, Rosenberg W, Rockell K, Tomlinson J, Yeoman A, Tsochatzis EA, Dillon JF, Alazawi W, Abeysekera KWM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Year: 2024

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 28/02/2024

Acceptance date: 02/04/2023

ISSN (print): 2468-1253

ISSN (electronic): 2468-1156

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/S2468-1253(23)00453-3

PubMed id: 38428439