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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects nearly 30% of Americans. Fatty liver disease was historically thought to be of little importance, but recent advances have uncovered that fatty liver disease can lead to end stage liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is estimated that by the year 2020 fatty liver disease will be the leading reason for liver transplants in the United States.

The MGH Fatty Liver Clinic provides comprehensive care for patients with suspected or established fatty liver disease. We see all forms of fatty liver disease including steatosis, steatohepatitis and cirrhosis. The MGH Fatty Liver Clinic offers evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plans for patients suffering from fatty liver disease. In addition, we are dedicated to research advancing the understanding of the causes of fatty liver and improving therapies to prevent and treat fatty liver disease.

Your clinic experience

To schedule your appointment in the Fatty Liver Clinic at MGH please call 617-724-1685 or request an appointment online.

At your first visit to the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic you will undergo:

  • Evaluation of your medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Assessment of your risk factors for fatty liver disease, including your family’s history of medical conditions, your medical conditions and your lifestyle

After a complete evaluation you will work with your physician to determine if further tests are needed. These tests can include:

  • Blood tests
  • Radiographic studies such as an ultrasound or MRI
  • Liver biopsy

A liver biopsy is often recommended because it may be needed to confirm your diagnosis of fatty liver disease and determine what type of fatty liver disease you have. A liver biopsy can also tell you if you have early or advanced disease, which impacts the treatment you need.

After you have completed these tests you will return to the Fatty Liver Clinic to review the tests results and work with your doctor to determine a treatment plan.

Treatment for fatty liver disease can include:

  • Exercise plans
  • Weight loss and nutrition counseling
  • Medications

The MGH Fatty Liver Clinic works closely with the MGH Weight Center to provide you access to dieticians, nutrition and exercise programs, medications for weight loss and, in special cases, weight loss surgery.

After this you will be followed closely in the Fatty Liver Clinic to monitor your progress and response to treatment. Our goal is to keep your liver healthy and we are dedicated with working with you to ensure this happens!

Click here for more information about the Fatty Liver Clinic and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Our staff

Fatty Liver Clinic

  • Kathleen Corey, MD, MPH

    Kathleen Corey, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Fatty Liver Clinic and the Associate Director of the MGH Weight Center. Dr. Corey treats all forms of liver disease, but specializes in the diagnosis and management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

  • Raymond Chung, MD

    Raymond Chung, MD, is the Director of Hepatology, Vice Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology, and Director of the HCV Clinic. Dr. Chung treats all forms of liver disease, specializing in the management of viral hepatitis with a particular interest in HCV and HCV/HIV co-infection.

  • Daniel Pratt, MD

    Daniel Pratt, MD, is Director of the Cholestatic and Autoimmune Liver Clinic, and Medical Director of the Multidisciplinary Liver Transplant Clinic. Dr. Pratt treats all forms of liver disease, but specializes in the management of primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, and IgG4-associated liver disease.

  • Michael Thiim, MD

    Michael Thiim, MD, is Director of the Residency Education Program for the Division of Gastroenterology. Dr. Thiim treats all forms of chronic liver disease.

  • Karin Andersson, MD, MPH

    Karin Andersson, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Hepatitis B Clinic. Dr. Andersson treats all forms of liver disease, but specializes in the management of patients with chronic hepatitis B.

  • Esperance Schaefer, MD, MPH

    Esperance Schaefer, MD, MPH, is a staff hepatologist in the division of Gastroenterology. Dr. Schaefer treats all forms of liver disease, and has specific expertise in hepatitis C, fatty liver disease, and autoimmune hepatitis.

  • Amandeep Singh, MD, PhD

    Amandeep Singh, MD, PhD, is a senior fellow in gastroenterology with experience in the care of patients with fatty liver disease and has a research focus in mechanisms of weight loss and endoscopic therapies for obesity.

  • Judith Bloom, NP

    Judith Bloom, NP, is the pre-liver transplant nurse practitioner. She sees patients in the MGH Multi-Disciplinary Liver Transplant Clinic and the MGH Liver Center.

  • Jessica Wisocky, FNP

    Jessica Wisocky, FNP, is a nurse practitioner in the Mass General Liver Clinic. Jessica has expertise in fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis. She has received funding from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and conducts research in metabolism and liver disease.

  • Kicitta Brooks

    Kicitta Brooks is the medical assistant for the Fatty Liver Clinic and assists in patient care and also performs FibroScans.

  • Yuri Choi, BA

    Yuri Choi, BA, is a research coordinator for the clinic and educates patients about research studies and clinical trials.

  • Tess Carley, BA

    Tess Carley, BA, is the head research coordinator for the Fatty Liver Clinic and educates patients on research studies and coordinates clinical trials. 

  • Linda Rizzo

    Linda Rizzo coordinates the MGH Fatty Liver Clinic and works closely with referring physicians to carefully coordinate patient care and referrals.

Clinical trials

It remains unknown why some people develop fatty liver, and why some develop advanced disease while others do not. The Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Repository follows patients every 6 months when they come for their regularly scheduled appointments and monitors their liver disease and response to treatment.

Ongoing clinical trials for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Actively recruiting


Condition:

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Study title:

The Study of Biomarkers in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Description of study:

To better understand why and how non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease develops, patients with fatty liver can choose to donate blood to allow for the study of relevant genes, environmental and lifestyle factors. Participation entails up to four 10 mL blood samples. Reimbursement for parking is provided.

Basic eligibility criteria:

Any patient with either abnormal liver function tests or fatty liver seen on ultrasound, CT scan or MRI is eligible.

Principal Investigator:

Kathleen Corey, MD, MPH

Contact:

Yuri Choi; 617-726-3670


Condition:

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Study title:

Growth Hormone and Intrahepatic Lipid Content in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Description of study:

The purpose of this study is to better understand how the body’s natural growth hormone levels contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Participants in this study will undergo a CT scan, MRI scan and special blood testing. Compensation includes $300 for two visits as well as parking reimbursement.

Basic eligibility criteria:

Individuals with NAFLD ages 18-65 years old.

Principal Investigator:

Karen Miller, MD

Contact:

Ariana Riccio; 617-726-2764


Ongoing clinical trials for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: No longer recruiting


Study title:

CENTAUR - Efficacy and Safety Study of Cenicriviroc for the Treatment of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Adult Subjects with Liver Fibrosis

Description of study:

We are doing this study to find out if cenicriviroc (CVC), a once daily oral drug, can help people with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis. Participants will require yearly biopsies and will be randomly assigned into 3 groups: active treatment for 2 years (50% chance), placebo then drug (25%), and placebo for 2 years (25%). ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02217475

Principal Investigator:

Kathleen Corey, MD, MPH

Refer a patient

Up to 40% of Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and 15-25% of these patients have steatohepatitis, a condition that can progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Patients over the age of 45 and who have obesity or diabetes have a 66% prevalence of advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis. If your patient has suspected fatty liver, the MGH Fatty Liver Clinic can help risk stratify your patient to determine if further tests, including liver biopsy, are needed and to determine what long-term interventions, including medications, are warranted. 

The Fatty Liver Clinic sees patients with established fatty liver disease but also those with suspected fatty liver disease based on abnormal liver function tests or isolated fatty liver on imaging.

To refer a patient with suspected or established fatty liver disease please contact the Fatty Liver Clinic at 617-724-1685 or use our online referral form.

If you have questions about fatty liver disease including diagnosis and management please contact the Director of the Fatty Liver Clinic, Dr. Kathleen Corey, at kcorey@partners.org.

E-newsletter for clinicians (PDF)

FAQ

1. What is fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver occurs when excess fat is stored in the liver cells (hepatocytes). In some patients this fat causes the liver to be irritated or inflamed. Long term inflammation of the liver can result in the development of scar tissue in some patients and even cirrhosis.

2. Are there different types of fatty liver disease?
Yes, there are two important types of fatty liver disease. Steatosis occurs when only fat is deposited in the liver but no inflammation or scarring occurs. Steatohepatitis (NASH) occurs when the fat deposited in the liver causes inflammation and in some cases scarring of the liver. NASH can progress to cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer and can even require a liver transplant so early diagnosis of this condition is very important. Unfortunately, in most cases the only way to distinguish between steatosis and NASH is through liver biopsy.

3. What causes fatty liver disease?
The exact causes of fatty liver disease are unknown. However, we do know that being overweight or obese and having diabetes increase the risk of developing fatty liver disease.

4. How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?
Fatty liver is diagnosed with a combination of tests including blood tests, radiographic tests (including ultrasound or MRI) and for certain patients, liver biopsy.

5. Does fatty liver disease run in families?
Fatty liver disease has been found to have genetic components indicating it can run in families. Patients with family members with fatty liver and diabetes are at increased risk of fatty liver.

6. How can fatty liver disease be treated?
Fatty liver disease is treated with a combination of weight loss, exercise and medications. At the MGH Fatty Liver Clinic your clinician will assess your condition and work with you to identify the best treatment plan for you.

7. Can fatty liver disease cause cirrhosis of the liver?
Yes, cirrhosis develops in a proportion of patients with fatty liver disease. While patients with obesity or diabetes mellitus have the highest risk of developing cirrhosis, even patients without these risk factors can develop cirrhosis.

8. Can I develop cirrhosis even if I don’t drink alcohol?
Unfortunately, yes. Any patient whose liver is chronically irritated or inflamed can develop cirrhosis even if he or she never drinks alcohol.

Contact us

We are located on the main campus of Massachusetts General Hospital. Call us at 617-724-1685 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.

Fatty Liver Clinic
Blake 4
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
617-724-1685

Referrals

The Fatty Liver Clinic sees patients with established fatty liver disease as well as patients with suspected fatty liver disease based on abnormal liver function tests or isolated fatty liver on imaging.

To refer a patient with suspected or established fatty liver disease please contact the Fatty Liver Clinic at 617-724-1685 or use our online referral form.

QuestionsIf you have questions about fatty liver disease including diagnosis and management please contact the Director of the Fatty Liver Clinic, Dr. Kathleen Corey, at kcorey@partners.org.

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