Fuelled by increasing obesity rates, metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD, formerly known as NAFLD) has emerged as a leading global cause of chronic liver disease in the past few decades. Despite growing prevalence, the factors influencing MASLD development and subsequent progression to steatohepatitis, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma are poorly understood. In this article series, Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology explores the epidemiology of MASLD, disease mechanisms and therapeutics, and clinical aspects including screening, diagnosis and management.

series of fatty livers on a yellow background

Mechanisms and pathophysiology


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