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Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Medicine and Ecology Series

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and microRNA expression in children

Mihail Siromahov, Niya Rasheva, Krasimira Koleva, Antonia Atanassova, Miglena Georgieva


With the rise of the obesity epidemic in recent decades, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease, not only in adults but in children as well. At present, the gold standard in diagnosing pediatric NAFLD is liver biopsy – an invasive procedure associated with potentially severe complications. Therefore, the current efforts are directed towards the development of new non-invasive and accessible methods for the early diagnosis of NAFLD. Among the potential biomarkers are the micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) – small molecules made up of 20-25 nucleotides, which exert their biological effect as regulators of protein synthesis. The aim of the present article is to provide a short description of miRNA function in hepatic metabolism and their possible use in diagnosing pediatric NAFLD.


children, obesity, NAFLD, miRNA, diagnostics

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