Overlapping Clinical Features Between NAFLD and Metabolic Syndrome in Children

Anna Alisi, *Valerio Nobili

Liver Research Unit and Hepato-Metabolic Disease Unit, ‘Bambino Gesù’ Children’s Hospital, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Rome, Italy
*Correspondence to nobili66@yahoo.it

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.
Received: 05.02.14 Accepted: 19.03.14
Citation: EMJ Hepatol. 2014;1:55-61.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a cluster of pathological liver conditions of emerging importance in overweight and obese children. NAFLD is associated with central obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidaemia, which are considered to be the main features of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Prevention of the adverse outcomes of NAFLD, as well as the risk of MetS, depends on the identification of genetic background and environmental factors that modulate susceptibility to these diseases. However, several lines of evidence highlight the strong correlation and co-currency of these two chronic diseases, both in children and in adults. In the present review, we provide an overview of the current clinical proofs on the link between NAFLD and MetS in children, with particular focus on all the possible overlapping features that connect them at paediatric age.

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