Concept

Steatosis

Summary
Steatosis, also called fatty change, is abnormal retention of fat (lipids) within a cell or organ. Steatosis most often affects the liver – the primary organ of lipid metabolism – where the condition is commonly referred to as fatty liver disease. Steatosis can also occur in other organs, including the kidneys, heart, and muscle. When the term is not further specified (as, for example, in 'cardiac steatosis'), it is assumed to refer to the liver. Risk factors associated with steatosis are varied, and may include diabetes mellitus, protein malnutrition, hypertension, cell toxins, obesity, anoxia, and sleep apnea. Steatosis reflects an impairment of the normal processes of synthesis and elimination of triglyceride fat. Excess lipid accumulates in vesicles that displace the cytoplasm. When the vesicles are large enough to distort the nucleus, the condition is known as macrovesicular steatosis; otherwise, the condition is known as microvesicular steatosis. While
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