In people with fatty liver disease, there are deposits of fat inside the liver. These deposits can inhibit the liver's ability to remove toxins from the blood. Causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood lipid levels (cholesterol and triglyceride). Alcohol can also raise the risk of fatty liver disease.
When fatty liver disease progresses to cause cirrhosis (liver scarring) and inflammation and impairs liver function significantly, a patient may need a liver transplant. In fact, the number of liver transplants performed in people with fatty liver disease and cirrhosis has risen significantly in the last decade.
The Center for Advanced Digestive Care (CADC) at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center is a leader in the care of patients with fatty liver disease, offering the latest therapies, comprehensive care, access to liver transplantation, and opportunities to participate in clinical trials.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Persistent itching
- Spiderlike blood vessels in the skin
Diagnosis of Fatty Liver Disease
- Imaging tests - to see if there are fat deposits in the liver
- Liver biopsy - examination of a small amount of liver tissue obtained through a long needle inserted through the skin and into the liver
- Blood tests - to look for elevated liver enzymes and other chemicals in the blood that serve as markers of liver function