Metabolic Liver Disease

The transition from infectious to metabolic disease is apparent in the shifting epidemiology of liver diseases. Vaccines and therapies now prevent or cure many forms of viral hepatitis. However, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) 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 and risk-stratification of patients with NAFLD.


  1. Mancini M, Summers P, Faita F, Brunetto MR, Callea F, De Nicola A, Di Lascio N, Farinati F, Gastaldelli A, Gridelli B, Mirabelli P, Neri E, Salvadori PA, Rebelos E, Tiribelli C, Valenti L, Salvatore M, Bonino F. Digital liver biopsy: Bio-imaging of fatty liver for translational and clinical research. World J Hepatol. 2018;10(2):231-245
  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. Morisco F, Guarino M, Valvano MR, Auriemma F, Farinati F, Giannini EG, Ciccarese F, Tovoli F, Rapaccini GL, Di Marco M, Caturelli E, Zoli M, Borzio F, Sacco R, Cabibbo G, Felder M, Benvengù L, Gasbarrini A, Svegliati Baroni G, Foschi FG, Biasini E, Masotto A, Virdone R, Marra F, Caporaso N, Trevisani F; Italian Liver Cancer (ITA.LI.CA) group. Metabolic disorders across hepatocellular carcinoma in Italy. Liver Int. 2018 May 10. doi: 10.1111/liv.13877. [
  4. Manousou P, Kalambokis G, Grillo F, Watkins J, Xirouchakis E, Pleguezuelo M, Leandro G, Arvaniti V, Germani G, Patch D, Calvaruso V, Mikhailidis DP, Dhillon AP, Burroughs AK. Serum ferritin is a discriminant marker for both fibrosis and inflammation in histologically proven non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients. Liver Int. 2011 May;31(5):730-9
  5. Burra P, Loreno M, Russo FP, Germani G, Galligioni A, Senzolo M, Cillo U, Zanus G, Fagiuoli S, Rugge M. Donor livers with steatosis are safe to use in hepatitis C virus-positive recipients. Liver Transpl. 2009 Jun;15(6):619-28.


Ordinary Department funding

People involved:

Fabio Farinati, Full Professor
Patrizia Burra, Full Professor
Annarosa Floreani, Associate  Professor
Francesco Paolo Russo, Associate Professor
Marina Bortolami, Assistant Professor

Group members:

Giacomo Germani (Consultant  Hepatologists), Chiara Becchetti, (Gastroenterology Fellow), Enrica Franceschet: (Research Nurse), Romilda Cardin (PhD biologist)