Liver diseases are being renamed: an end to stigmatisation?

The terms non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis are misleading for some experts, with inaccurate associations leading to stigmas.

What is the new terminology for liver diseases?

About the previous terms

The previous nomenclature was considered by some experts to be too stigmatising, as it contained the adjectives alcoholic and fatty. However, the pathophysiological inaccuracy in the old names is at least as relevant. It was therefore time for a revised nomenclature, according to the experts. A consortium of liver specialists, patient associations and professional societies therefore came together and gave fatty liver disease new names.

What are they called now?

The aim was to name the diseases as precisely as possible and also to address the relevant pathophysiology.

Why are the new names better?

The new nomenclature is more orientated towards the underlying cause of the disease than its predecessor. In addition, stigmatising adjectives are avoided and removed from the disease names. The experts hope that this will enable a more precise classification of the disease.

A clearer view of disease development

The renaming marks the beginning of a new era for fatty liver disease, at least formally. Greater attention is now being paid to the pathogenesis of the disease, paving the way for a more precise nomenclature. Patients will also be less stigmatised by the diagnosis, according to the experts.