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Liver-spleen axis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology  (IF3.869),  Pub Date : 2021-04-20, DOI: 10.1080/17474124.2021.1914587
Giovanni Tarantino, Vincenzo Citro, Clara Balsano


Introduction: NAFLD is often under-diagnosed, even though rates of its co-morbidities such as obesity and type2 diabetes mellitus, prominent statuses of inflammation, are significantly high. The spleen-liver axis is gaining much credit in the last years like other well-known organ axes.

Areas covered: PubMed/MEDLINE was searched for relevant articles related to concomitant occurrence of NAFLD and spleen. Areas covered in this review include: (1) updated findings of spleen dimensions at ultrasonography, (2) discussion of current data on pathophysiological connections between obesity-related NAFLD and increased volume of the spleen, and (3) analysis of current immune-mediated mechanisms characterizing the so.called chronic low-grade inflammation leading to insulin resistance.

Expert opinion: The advances in explaining mechanisms underlying the spleen involvement in immune regulation, coupled with research about the role of spleen in NAFLD, could impact real world outcomes through establishing better tools for a precocious diagnosis. Using both liver and spleen ultrasonography, technique largely dealt with in this review, could expand the possibility to cover an adequate diagnostic path toward NAFLD, reaching a good sensibility and specificity.