Fatty liver or steatosis hepatis is a reversible condition seen in chronic alcoholism and many other conditions, where large vacuoles of lipid accumulate in hepatocytes (the cells of the liver). Accumulation of fat in liver cells will cause the liver to enlarge. The lipid within the vacuoles is a particular type of lipid known as triglyceride. Triglyceride molecules consist of a glycerol backbone with three fatty acid molecules joined on. more...
Many chemicals, such as alcohol and drugs can cause fatty liver.
Fatty liver can occur in diabetes mellitus and in pregnancy. It can also be seen in starvation and obesity. In addition, it is also a minor symptom of hepatitis
Fatty change represents the intracytoplasmic accumulation of triglyceride (neutral fats). At the beginning, the hepatocytes present small fat vacuoles (liposomes) around the nucleus - microvesicular fatty change. In the late stages, the size of the vacuoles increases pushing the nucleus to the periphery of the cell - macrovesicular fatty change. These vesicles are well delineated and optically "empty" because fats solves during tissue processing. Large vacuoles may coalesce, producing fatty cysts - which are irrevesible lesions. 1
Treatment and prevention
The treatment of fatty liver depends on what is causing it, and generally, treating the underlying cause will remove the problem.
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