Introduction of MAFLD criteria and the disease model

Today, we would like to introduce metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), a new concept in the study of fatty liver disease.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined as the presence of fatty liver disease in the absence of any known causes of steatosis.

The number of NAFLD cases are growing worldwide due to lifestyle changes and an increasing prevalence of obesity.

However, as our understanding of NAFLD has improved, it has become clear that the definition of the disease, as defined by the diagnostic criteria that is currently available, does not accurately describe the pathophysiology of every individual who is diagnosed with it.


In response to this situation, the concept of MAFLD was introduced (Eslam et al., j Hepatol., 2020), and although NAFLD itself will continue to exist, it is important that an emphasis is placed on how to treat MAFLD as well.


MAFLD is diagnosed when a patient has fatty liver disease with one of the following metabolic dysfunctions: ①overweight/obesity, ②presence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, or ③lean/normal weight with evidence of metabolic dysregulation. Metabolic dysregulation is defined as the presence of at least two of the metabolic risk abnormalities, such as hypertension, abnormal glucose tolerance, liver triglyceride deposition or hyperlipidemia.

Although it will continue to be important that the needs of patients suffering from NAFLD are addressed, the development of MAFLD means that there is now an increasing need to develop drugs based on the causes and pathologies of both diseases specifically, rather than simply lumping them together.


Here at SMC, we are happy to announce that we have already started to develop a model for MAFLD. As we develop our model further, we will keep you informed of any updates we have.


If this sounds like it is of interest to you, please feel free to contact us.