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Forme di epatopatia alcoolica

La forma più lieve di danno epatico da alcool è la steatosi epatica. Essa consiste in un accumulo di lipidi (grassi) all'interno delle cellule del fegato (epatociti). I lipidi si depositano negli epatociti per un sovraccarico del lavoro metabolico del fegato (vedi sopra) che viene fortemente impegnato dall'alcool (Haber 2003). E' possibile riscontrare segni di steatosi nella quasi totalità  dei bevitori, ma essa è guaribile se si osserva una totale astinenza dalle bevande alcoliche, altrimenti il danno progredisce fino alla cirrosi (Gramenzi 2006). Un' epatopatia alcolica che colpisce una quota relativamente ridotta di soggetti che consumano elevate quantità  di bevande alcoliche è la steatoepatite. Questa condizione determina due ordini di problemi: associa un danno infiammatorio a quello metabolico e accelera sensibilmente l'evoluzione verso la cirrosi (Younossi 1998).

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