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Published on Jan 27, 2012
Fatty liver disease can range from fatty liver alone (steatosis) to fatty liver associated with inflammation (steatohepatitis). This condition can occur with the use of alcohol (alcohol-related fatty liver) or in the absence of alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [NAFLD]).
Fatty liver can be associated with the use of alcohol. This may occur with as little as 10 oz of alcohol ingested per week. Identical lesions also can be caused by other diseases or toxins.
If steatohepatitis is present but a history of alcohol use is not, the condition is termed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Fatty change in the liver results from excessive accumulation of lipids within hepatocytes. Simple fatty liver is believed to be benign, but NASH can progress to cirrhosis and can be associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. The main risk factors for simple fatty liver (NAFLD) and NASH are obesity, diabetes, high triglyceride levels, or a high fat diet.