Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in precision medicine: Unraveling the factors that contribute to individual variability

John D. Clarke, Nathan J. Cherrington

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


There are numerous factors in individual variability that make the development and implementation of precision medicine a challenge in the clinic. One of the main goals of precision medicine is to identify the correct dose for each individual in order to maximize therapeutic effect and minimize the occurrence of adverse drug reactions. Many promising advances have been made in identifying and understanding how factors such as genetic polymorphisms can influence drug pharmacokinetics (PK) and contribute to variable drug response (VDR), but it is clear that there remain many unidentified variables. Underlying liver diseases such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) alter absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) processes and must be considered in the implementation of precision medicine. There is still a profound need for clinical investigation into how NASH-associated changes in ADME mediators, such as metabolism enzymes and transporters, affect the pharmacokinetics of individual drugs known to rely on these pathways for elimination. This review summarizes the key PK factors in individual variability and VDR and highlights NASH as an essential underlying factor that must be considered as the development of precision medicine advances. A multifactorial approach to precision medicine that considers the combination of two or more risk factors (e.g. genetics and NASH) will be required in our effort to provide a new era of benefit for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
StatePublished - May 30 2015


  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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