Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Implications for Clinical Practice and Health Promotion

Bethany Croke, FNP-BC; Deborah Sampson, FNP-BC

Disclosures

Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2012;8(1):45-50. 

In This Article

Prognosis and Follow-up

Prognosis depends on the extent of liver damage at time of diagnosis. Fatty infiltration by itself is typically benign. NASH, as stated earlier, carries the risk of progression to cirrhosis, which is defined as irreversible liver damage. Providers should monitor patients closely for comorbidities and disease progression. Follow-up includes BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, liver function tests, serum lipids, and blood glucose measurements every 6 months.[21] An annual upper abdominal ultrasound examining the liver, gallbladder, and spleen should also be performed. Finally, providers should consider screening for cancer, complications of cirrhosis, and metabolic syndrome end-stage organ diseases, depending on the patient's risk factors and disease state.

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