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Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver in Children and Adolescents: An Overview

      Abstract

      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is rapidly becoming one of the most common liver diseases in the pediatric population in industrialized countries because of the growing prevalence of obesity and overweight. For this reason, there is a keen and broad interest among researchers to identify new diagnostic noninvasive tools and novel treatment modalities for this condition. Unfortunately, to date, liver biopsy remains the imperfect gold standard for diagnosis. In addition, available noninvasive markers are not fully satisfactory for the diagnosis of fatty liver. Although in recent years many pharmacological agents, on the basis of pathogenetic mechanism of the disease, have been attempted, to date, the guidelines for the management of fatty liver are still lacking. Establishing effective therapeutic strategies to treat the disease represents the challenge for pediatric hepatologists in the near future. In this article, we briefly review the current knowledge and ideas concerning pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and discuss the new perspective therapies.

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