A "systems medicine" approach to the study of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Salvatore Petta, Luca Vittorio Carlo Valenti, Elisabetta Bugianesi, Giovanni Targher, Stefano Bellentani, Ferruccio Bonino, Silvia Fargion, Ester Vanni, Ele Ferrannini, C. Loguercio, A. Lonardo, Fabio Marra, Marcello Mancini, Luca Miele, Valerio Nobili, Gianluca Svegliati Baroni, Federico Alessandro, Stefano Ballestri, M. R. Brunetto, Barbara CocoA. Grieco, Loreta A. Kondili, F. Nascimbeni, Anna Prinster, Dante Romagnoli, S. Taddei, S. Vella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of fatty liver (steatosis) in the general population is rapidly increasing worldwide. The progress of knowledge in the physiopathology of fatty liver is based on the systems biology approach to studying the complex interactions among different physiological systems. Similarly, translational and clinical research should address the complex interplay between these systems impacting on fatty liver. The clinical needs drive the applications of systems medicine to re-define clinical phenotypes, assessing the multiple nature of disease susceptibility and progression (e.g. the definition of risk, prognosis, diagnosis criteria, and new endpoints of clinical trials). Based on this premise and in light of recent findings, the complex mechanisms involved in the pathology of fatty liver and their impact on the short- and long-term clinical outcomes of cardiovascular, metabolic liver diseases associated with steatosis are presented in this review using a new "systems medicine" approach. A new data set is proposed for studying the impairments of different physiological systems that have an impact on fatty liver in different subsets of subjects and patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Fatty liver
  • Medicine
  • NASH
  • Personalized
  • Systems medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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