Metabolic Liver Disease

The transition from infectious to metabolic disease is of paramount relevance in the shifting epidemiology of liver diseases. Vaccines and therapies now prevent or cure many forms of viral hepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD, or MAFLD as, with slight difefferences, it may be now be identified) is increasingly recognized as the most common chronic liver disease. NAFLD is associated with obesity and encompasses a range of pathologies from steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. NAFLD also increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The incidence of HCC is rising, and NAFLD may account for up to 25% of these cases in Westernized countries, though this association may be even higher. The research group is focused on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of NAFLD/NASH. The group is actively involved in biomarker discovery projects that will assist in the diagnosis, risk-stratification of patients with NAFLD, and therapeutic clinical trials.


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  2. Burra P, Germani G. Orthotopic liver transplantation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2014;9(3):210-6
  3. Ferrarese A, Battistella S, Germani G, Russo FP, Senzolo M, Gambato M, Vitale A, Cillo U, Burra P. Nash Up, Virus Down: How the Waiting List Is Changing for Liver Transplantation: A Single Center Experience from Italy. Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Feb 14;58(2):290. doi: 10.3390/medicina58020290. PMID: 35208613; PMCID: PMC8874675.
  4. Meneghel P, Pinto E, Russo FP. Physiopathology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: from diet to nutrigenomics. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2022 Sep 1;25(5):329-333. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000859. PMID: 35920204.
  5. Gabbia D, Roverso M, Zanotto I, Colognesi M, Sayaf K, Sarcognato S, Arcidiacono D, Zaramella A, Realdon S, Ferri N, Guido M, Russo FP, Bogialli S, Carrara M, De Martin S. A Nutraceutical Formulation Containing Brown Algae Reduces Hepatic Lipid Accumulation by Modulating Lipid Metabolism and Inflammation in Experimental Models of NAFLD and NASH. Mar Drugs. 2022 Sep 8;20(9):572. doi: 10.3390/md20090572. PMID: 36135761; PMCID: PMC9501409.
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Ordinary Department funding

People involved:

Fabio Farinati, Full Professor
Patrizia Burra, Full Professor
Francesco Paolo Russo, Associate Professor
Nora Cazzagon, Assistant Professor
Filippo Pelizzaro Assistant Professor
Alberto Zanetto, Assistant Professor

Group members:

Martina Gambato, Giacomo Germani, Marco Senzolo (Consultant  Hepatologists), Sara Battistella, Paola Meneghel, Elisa Pinto, (Gastroenterology Fellow), Paola Zanaga (Study Coordinator), Romilda Cardin (PhD biologist)