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Bariatric surgery and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Bower, G
  • Athanasiou, T
  • Isla, AM
  • Harling, L
  • Li, JV
  • Holmes, E
  • Efthimiou, E
  • Darzi, A
  • Ashrafian, H
Publication Date
Mar 23, 2015
DOI: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000375
UPCommons. Portal del coneixement obert de la UPC


The rising prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with the increasing global pandemic of obesity. These conditions cluster with type II diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome to result in obesity-associated liver disease. The benefits of bariatric procedures on diabetes and the metabolic syndrome have been recognized for some time, and there is now mounting evidence to suggest that bariatric procedures improve liver histology and contribute to the beneficial resolution of NAFLD in obese patients. These beneficial effects derive from a number of weight-dependent and weight-independent mechanisms including surgical BRAVE actions (bile flow changes, restriction of stomach size, anatomical gastrointestinal rearrangement, vagal manipulation, enteric hormonal modulation) and subsequent effects such as reduced lipid intake, adipocytokine secretion, modulation of gut flora, improvements in insulin resistance and reduced inflammation. Here, we review the clinical investigations on bariatric procedures for NAFLD, in addition to the mounting mechanistic data supporting these findings. Elucidating the mechanisms by which bariatric procedures may resolve NAFLD can help enhance surgical approaches for metabolic hepatic dysfunction and also contribute toward developing the next generation of therapies aimed at reducing the burden of obesity-associated liver disease.

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