Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming one of the most important causes for chronic liver disease and also hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Sri Lanka. This tendency is also recognized worldwide. More than half of the middle-aged and elderly adults in urban Sri Lanka have ultrasonic evidence of NAFLD. The NAFLD is also identified in population from rural areas of Sri Lanka and also in children. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cirrhosis is the most common cause of referral for liver transplantation in Sri Lankans. The NASH is also the most common cause for rejecting potential donors for liver transplantation in Sri Lanka. Patients who underwent liver transplantation for cryptogenic cirrhosis developed evidence of NASH following liver transplantation. Recent evidence suggests that there is a genetic component to NAFLD. PNPLA3, a single gene polymorphism linked to the short arm of chromosome 22, is associated with the severity of NAFLD. The presence of this genetic polymorphism appears to carry higher risk of patients with NAFLD developing NASH with fibrosis cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In a large population-based study from Sri Lanka, there was a tendency to develop NAFLD associated with this genetic polymorphism. In a population-based study, NAFLD was identified as an independent risk factor for development of diabetes. This association is recognized worldwide now. Most patients with HHC in Sri Lanka developed it on a back ground of cryptogenic cirrhosis. At the same time, the prevalence of the markers for hepatitis B and C was rare in Sri Lankan patients with HCC.
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