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A MASLD Mantra to Practice By: Screen, Stage, Treat


Hepatologist Naim Alkhouri, MD, offered 3 take-home thoughts for primary care colleagues to help increase early detection of MASLD.

SCREEN. The first and the most important step toward decreasing the rapidly rising prevalence of metabolic dysfunction-associated liver disease (MASLD) in the US is to increase the number of people screened for the disease in primary care. Naim Alkhouri, MD, chief medical officer, chief of transplant hepatology, and director of the fatty liver program at Arizona Liver Health, in Phoenix, urges primary care clinicians to screen for MASLD in every patient at high risk and that means any patient with type 2 diabetes, obesity, elements of the metabolic syndrome, or any combination.

STAGE. The next step also can be taken in primary care Alkhouri said in a recent interview with Patient Care. Initiate staging using the FIB-4 test to determine whether a patient needs to be referred to hepatology or can be managed with lifestyle interventions in the primary care setting.

TREAT. For the first time ever there is an approved medication for patients whose disease may have progressed to steatohepatitis with fibrosis. Primary care clinicians aren't likely to be prescribing resmetirom (Rezdiffra; Madrigal) but Alkhouri emphasized how essential it is for front line health care professionals to know that treatment is available and that patients can be helped. Please screen, initiate staging, and refer because now, we can treat. (Follow Dr Alkhouri on X @AlkhouriNaim)

Other videos with Dr Alkhouri in this series:

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