Metabolic-associated fatty-liver disease (MAFLD), previously known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is the most widespread and emerging chronic liver disease worldwide, with increasing prevalence rates also in the Asia-Pacific region. The disease has a high socio-economic burden as it negatively impacts the finances and quality of life of individuals affected and has a major burden on healthcare systems. The most important pathological event in MAFLD aetiopathogenesis is oxidative stress, which leads to functional and structural abnormalities in the liver as well as being involved in the development of other concomitant cardiometabolic diseases. MAFLD is a rather complex multisystemic clinical condition involving liver damage and a wide spectrum of extrahepatic manifestations such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. This complexity requires the cooperation of multiple experts to identify MAFLD at an early stage, treat associated comorbidities, and promptly refer the patient to the hepatologist when needed. This review summarizes the current knowledge about MAFLD and reports the opinion of a group of experts on the increasing prevalence and burden of the disease in the southeast Asia region, the current journey of patients with MAFLD in developing countries, the role of oxidative stress and antioxidant treatment, and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach for early diagnosis and disease management.
This article is part of the Current clinical use of silymarin in the treatment of toxic liver diseases: a case series Special Issue: https://www.drugsincontext.com/special_issues/current-clinical-use-of-silymarin-in-the-treatment-of-toxic-liver-diseases-a-case-series