Reaching Consensus on NAFLD Nomenclature

There has been much progress regarding the ongoing discussions over nomenclature for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). AASLD has been leading and participating in a global multi-stakeholder process that includes extensive involvement from patient groups to examine the options and ramifications around nomenclature in this condition.

This nomenclature task force includes representatives from the largest pan-national liver societies and will examine how emerging concepts in fatty liver disease phenotyping can or should be incorporated in discussions regarding naming. Doing so will ultimately inform choice of a name that addresses stigma and advances our understanding of disease subtypes, natural history and/or response to therapy. To achieve this, we are conducting a formal Delphi process addressing key statements and questions on this topic. The results of the Delphi process will be discussed at a consensus conference planned for July 2022, with the goal of achieving a global consensus on choice of nomenclature. A report on the results of the July conference will be available following the meeting’s conclusion.

However, an online petition has surfaced which AASLD and EASL believe is pre-empting this process and advocating that the name be changed to MAFLD without further discussion. We believe this to be premature and that it will only serve to increase confusion in the field at this critical time.

To ensure the process continues in a collaborative and inclusive manner, AASLD and EASL are encouraging our sister societies to await the outcome of the multi-stakeholder process before declaring their view or support for any particular nomenclature. There is great value in an open and robust process along with countless advantages of reaching a global multi-stakeholder consensus position.