Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the progressive form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and is diagnosed by a liver biopsy. Because of the invasiveness of a biopsy, the majority of patients with NASH are undiagnosed. Additionally, the prevalence of NAFLD and NASH creates the need for a simple screening method to differentiate patients with NAFLD versus NASH. Noninvasive strategies for diagnosing NAFLD versus NASH have been developed, typically relying on imaging techniques and endogenous biomarker panels. However, each technique has limitations, and none can accurately predict the associated functional impairment of drug metabolism and disposition. The function of several drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters has been described in NASH that impacts drug pharmacokinetics. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the existing noninvasive strategies to diagnose NASH and to propose a novel strategy based on altered pharmacokinetics using an exogenous biomarker whose disposition and elimination pathways are directly impacted by disease progression. Altered disposition of safe and relatively inert exogenous compounds may provide the sensitivity and specificity needed to differentiate patients with NAFLD and NASH to facilitate a direct indication of hepatic impairment on drug metabolism and prevent subsequent adverse drug reactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science