Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is by far the most common form of chronic liver disease worldwide, affecting adults as well as children. Under the term of NAFLD there is a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from simple steatosis to the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Several mechanisms have been described to influence the progression of the disease from the benign NAFL to the aggressive NASH. The imbalance between pro- and anti-oxidant mechanisms and between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines is thought to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and disease progression toward NASH and fibrosis. The present review intends to look at some of the mechanistic biomarkers to be employed in establishing an early diagnosis in HCC derived from NASH.

Abbreviations: ANGPT: angiopoietin-2; AFP: α-fetoprotein; ALT: alanine aminotransferase; AST: aspartate aminotransferase; CI: confidence interval; COL: collagen; DCP: des-carboxyprothrombin; γGT: gamma glutamyl transpeptidase; HBV: hepatitis B virus; HCC: hepatocellular carcinoma; HCV: hepatitis C virus; HR: hazard ratio; ITG: integrin; LAM: laminin collagen genes; MMP: matrix metalloproteinase; MS: metabolic syndrome; NAFLD: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH: non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; PDGFRA: platelet derived growth factor receptor-α


non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, biomarkers, non-invasive