Liver, here is the treatment of steatosis


Daniela Mattalia

We eat a lot, in an incorrect way, we move a little. And we've been doing this for years. We end up overweight, and often do not even think it's a problem. It is, however, for our liver, which eventually becomes "fat" and runs the risk of inflaming and progressing to cirrhosis of the liver.

About 25% of the general population, one in four Italians, suffer from hepatic steatosis (or steatosis, this is the medical term), as emerged at a recent conference in Rome promoted by Gilead Sciences. "It is an average value, we should keep in mind that the more an overweight, obese or diabetic person ages, the greater the risk of steatosis, even exceeding 50%" warns Salvatore Petta, a gastroenterologist at the University of Palermo and secretary of the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver. "And it is an asymptomatic condition, often the diagnosis happens by chance: an abdominal ultrasound is done for other reasons, and in the examination the liver looks bright because full of fats". Continue Petta: "Today there are advanced tests that combine blood tests, including liver enzymes, such as transaminases, with body mass index. This information, thanks to artificial intelligence, enables us to identify those at higher risk of liver damage.".

Can we get back from steatosis? Several scientific studies have convincingly demonstrated that, by losing at least 7% of their weight (with a hypocaloric diet and a more correct lifestyle), liver conditions improve: inflammation regresses, as well as liver fibrosis. However, scientific research is developing therapies that can provide a solution to the more serious problem, that of steatosis. "For some time now we have focused our efforts on identifying a treatment for those affected by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in the more advanced stages. – emphasizes Valentino Confalone, General Director of Gilead Sciences -. We have more molecules under study. Some are in phase III trials against advanced fibrosis and against cirrhosis while others are in phase II. We also work with non-invasive diagnostic methods that are as effective as biopsy and are based on artificial intelligence machine learning techniques ".

In terms of liver disease, steatosis is still an open challenge. On the same front, another challenge, that of hepatitis C, begins to be overcome. "Liver health is a priority for us – adds Confalone – We are proud to have been pioneers in providing therapeutic regimens that allow for complete recovery and to be an active part with scientific societies, institutions and patient associations to get the elimination of hepatitis C from our country by 2030, as indicated by WHO. We also provided therapy for the few patients who did not respond to previous treatments and therefore were deprived of an effective drug. In addition, together with AIFA and Italian pediatricians, we have made available at a nominal cost the only treatment indicated today for adolescents aged 12 to 18 who suffer from the virus. Now the next challenge we want to gain is precisely that of steatosis ".

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