The recognition of a pattern of steatotic liver injury where histology mimicked alcoholic liver disease, but alcohol consumption was denied, led to the identification of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has since become the most common chronic liver disease in adults owing to the global epidemic of obesity. However, in paediatrics, the term NAFLD seems incongruous: alcohol consumption is largely not a factor and inherited metabolic disorders can mimic or co-exist with a diagnosis of NAFLD. The term paediatric fatty liver disease may be more appropriate. In this article, we summarise the known causes of steatosis in children according to their typical, clinical presentation: i) acute liver failure; ii) neonatal or infantile jaundice; iii) hepatomegaly, splenomegaly or hepatosplenomegaly; iv) developmental delay/psychomotor retardation and perhaps most commonly; v) the asymptomatic child with incidental discovery of abnormal liver enzymes. We offer this model as a means to provide pathophysiological insights and an approach to management of the ever more complex subject of fatty liver.
Hegarty, R., Deheragoda, M., Fitzpatrick, E., & Dhawan, A. (2018, June 1). Paediatric fatty liver disease (PeFLD): All is not NAFLD – Pathophysiological insights and approach to management. Journal of Hepatology. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2018.02.006