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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: Tightening the morphological screws on a hepatic rambler



Background/Aims: In the past, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis has been described mostly in obese women with diabetes. The aim of this study was to describe a series of patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with a different clinical profile. Methods: The clinical, biochemical, and histological features of 33 patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis seen from July 1990 to June 1993 were analyzed. Results: The mean age was 47 years. All patients were antibody to hepatitis C virus-negative. Nineteen of 33 (58%) were men, 20 of 33 (61%) were non-obese, 26 of 33 (79%) had normal glucose levels, and 26 of 33 (79%) had normal lipid levels. Fourteen of 33 (42%) had normal glucose and lipid levels and were not obese. Thirteen of 33 (39%) had pathological increases in fibrosis, 5 of whom had micronodular cirrhosis. Of these 13 with severe, progressive disease, 8 (62%) were women, 8 (62%) were obese, 4 (31%) were diabetic or had an elevated glucose level, and 3 (23%) had hyperlipidemia. Although serum iron studies (transferrin saturation and ferritin) were abnormal in 18 of 31 (58%), no patient had hemochromatosis. Conclusions: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis can be a severe, progressive liver disease leading to the development of cirrhosis. It should no longer be considered a disease predominantly seen in obese women with diabetes.

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