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ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 43
Review paper

Changes in the immune system – the key to diagnostics and therapy of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Marcin Kosmalski, Łukasz Mokros, Piotr Kuna, Andrzej Witusik, Tadeusz Pietras

(Centr Eur Immunol 2018; 43 (2): 231-239)
Online publish date: 2018/06/30
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common pathologies of that organ. The development of the disease involves a variety of mechanisms, including insulin resistance, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, endotoxins from the intestinal flora and genetic predispositions. Additionally, clinical data suggest that the presence of NAFLD is associated with excessive activation of the immune system. For practical purposes, attention should be paid to the moment when the subjects predisposed to NAFLD develop inflammatory infiltration and signs of fibrosis in the liver (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis – NASH). Their presence is an important risk factor for hepatic cirrhosis, hepatic failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as for the occurrence of cardiovascular events. Regardless of the diagnostic methods used, including laboratory tests and imaging, liver biopsy remains the gold standard to identify and differentiate patients with NAFLD and NASH. The search for other, safer, cheaper and more readily available diagnostic tests is still being continued. Attention has been drawn to the usefulness of markers of immune status of the organism, not only for the diagnosis of NASH, but also for the identification of NAFLD patients at risk of disease progression. Despite the effectiveness of medication, no recommendations have been established for pharmacotherapy of NAFLD. Data indicate the primary need for non-pharmacological interventions to reduce body weight. However, there is evidence of the applicability of certain drugs and dietary supplements, which, by their effect on the immune system, inhibit its excessive activity, thus preventing the progression of NAFLD to NASH.

therapy, diagnosis, immune system, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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