: This narrative review aims to illustrate the notion that nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), recently renamed metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH), is a systemic metabolic disorder featuring both adverse hepatic and extrahepatic outcomes. In recent years, several NASH trials have failed to identify effective pharmacological treatments and, therefore, lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of therapy for NASH. with this context, we analyze the epidemiological burden of NASH and the possible pathogenetic factors involved. These include genetic factors, insulin resistance, lipotoxicity, immuno-thrombosis, oxidative stress, reprogramming of hepatic metabolism, and hypoxia, all of which eventually culminate in low-grade chronic inflammation and increased risk of fibrosis progression. The possible explanations underlying the failure of NASH trials are also accurately examined. We conclude that the high heterogeneity of NASH, resulting from variable genetic backgrounds, exposure, and responses to different metabolic stresses, susceptibility to hepatocyte lipotoxicity, and differences in repair-response, calls for personalized medicine approaches involving research on noninvasive biomarkers. Future NASH trials should aim at achieving a complete assessment of systemic determinants, modifiers, and correlates of NASH, thus adopting a more holistic and unbiased approach, notably including cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic outcomes, without restricting therapeutic perspectives to histological surrogates of liver-related outcomes alone.
Mantovani, Alessandro;Targher, Giovanni
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