J Korean Diabetes.  2014 Jun;15(2):82-92. 10.4093/jkd.2014.15.2.82.

Diagnosis of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. gy.gwak@samsung.com


Although the classical gold standard for diagnosing and staging non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and assessing fibrosis is liver biopsy, the procedure has several drawbacks, such as sample error, subjectivity in interpretation, high cost, and a small but real risk of complications.In an attempt to replace liver biopsy and to subcategorize patients with NAFLD into different prognoses, many non-invasive methods using various biomarkers, scoring systems, and imaging methods, such as elastography, have been attempted in the last decade. This article summarizes non-invasive diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of NAFLD/Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, as well as the limitations and merits of liver biopsy.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Diagnosis; Liver biopsy
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