Definition of Fatty
Fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in liver cells. It is also called
Description of Fatty Liver
Possible explanations of fatty liver include the transfer of fat from
other parts of the body or an increase in the extraction of fat
presented to the liver from the intestine. Other explanations are that
the liver reduces the rate it breaks down and removes fat. Eating fatty
foods does not by itself produce a fatty liver.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver
Patients are often asymptomatic.
Diagnosis of Fatty Liver
The patient may have an enlarged liver or minor elevation of liver
enzyme tests. Several studies show that fatty liver is one of the most
common causes of isolated minor elevation of liver enzymes found in
routine blood screening.
Images of the liver obtained by an ultrasound test, CT (computed
tomography) scan, or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may suggest the
presence of a fatty liver. To be certain whether a patient has fatty
liver requires a liver biopsy, in which a small sample of liver tissue
is obtained through the skin and analyzed under the microscope.
Treatment of Fatty Liver
The treatment of fatty liver is related to the cause. It is important to
remember that simple fatty liver may not require treatment. The benefit
of weight loss, dietary fat restriction, and exercise in obese patients
Reducing or eliminating alcohol use can improve fatty liver due to
alcohol toxicity. Controlling blood sugar may reduce the severity of
fatty liver in patients with diabetes. Ursodeoxycholic acid may improve
liver function test results, but its effect on improving the underlying
liver abnormality is unclear.