Pediatric Clinic for Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is now the most common cause of liver disease among children.  Undetected and untreated, it can lead to significant liver injury. To meet the needs of patients, and to serve a growing number of referrals, NYP Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has created a dedicated clinic for the study and management of this condition.

According to Joel E. Lavine, MD, PhD, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Columbia Doctors and NYP Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, “More than 95% of children with fatty liver are obese. Studies have shown that liver histology and tests improve when children lose 10% of their body weight.  Lifestyle choices are key. Fewer calories, avoiding high fructose syrup and high fat foods, eating more vegetables, exercise, keeping heart rate up for 60 minutes a day, 6 days a week.  These interventions are generally helpful for anyone with NAFLD.  We lead all of the clinical research studies in the United States funded by the NIH so that we can provide the most up-to-date care for children with this problem”

Our medical staff does everything possible to slow NAFLD and keep it from progressing to NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), characterized by liver inflammation and scarring.   

The Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative and The Institute of Genomic Medicine, through analysis of subjects enrolled nationwide in the NIH studies we lead, are trying to understand the genetic basis of the fibrotic process in NAFLD through exome sequencing. Our goal is to offer research related treatments efficacious for NAFLD. Learn more about our center’s treatment of children with pediatric liver disease here.

Listen to a panel on Fatty Liver Disease on our BlogTalk Radio program: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/columbiasurgery/2013/04/01/what-is-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease