Abstract: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are common conditions with a rising burden. Yet there are significant management gaps between clinical guidelines and practice in patients with NAFLD and NASH. Further, there is no single global guiding strategy for the management of NAFLD and NASH. The American Gastroenterological Association, in collaboration with 7 professional associations, convened an international conference comprising 32 experts in gastroenterology, hepatology, endocrinology, and primary care from the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Conference content was informed by the results of a national NASH Needs Assessment Survey. The participants reviewed and discussed published literature on global burden, screening, risk stratification, diagnosis, and management of individuals with NAFLD, including those with NASH. Participants identified promising approaches for clinical practice and prepared a comprehensive, unified strategy for primary care providers and relevant specialists encompassing the full spectrum of NAFLD/NASH care. They also identified specific high-yield targets for clinical research and called for a unified, international public health response to NAFLD and NASH.
Abstract: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming increasingly common, currently affecting approximately37% of US adults. NAFLD is most often managed in primary care or endocrine clinics, where clinicians must determine which patients might benefit from secondary care to address hepatic manifestations, comorbid metabolic traits, and cardiovascular risks of the disease. Because NAFLD is largely asymptomatic, and because optimal timing of treatment depends on accurate staging of fibrosis risk, screening at the primary care level is critical, together with consistent, timely, evidence-based, widely accessible, and testable management processes. To achieve these goals, the American Gastroenterological Association assembled a multidisciplinary panel of experts to develop a Clinical Care Pathway providing explicit guidance on the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of NAFLD. This article describes the NAFLD Clinical Care Pathway they developed and provides a rationale supporting proposed steps to assist clinicians in diagnosing and managing NAFLD with clinically significant fibrosis (stage F2–F4) based on the best avail-able evidence. This Pathway is intended to be applicable in any setting where care for patients with NAFLD is provided, including primary care, endocrine, obesity medicine, and gastroenterology practices.