Fatty change is the accumulation of lipid droplets within the parenchymal cells. It usually occurs in the liver as the liver has great involvement in fat metabolism. Other organs in which fatty change can occur are the heart and muscle. Causes of fatty change may be hypoxia, exposure to toxins like carbon tetra chloride, obesity, protein malnutrition, diabetes mellitus. The most common cause of fatty change of liver is alcoholic fatty liver. Non alcoholic steatosis and non alcoholic steatohepatitis are being increasingly seen now a days. Accumulation of fat in the liver can occur due to derangement of any of the processes from uptake of fatty acids to the release of triglycerides.
Fat metabolism in the liver
Lipids absorbed in the intestine are transported to the liver by the portal circulation where they are taken up by the hepatocytes. These fatty acids can be 1) oxidized to ketone bodies 2) used for the synthesis of cholesterol 3) used for synthesis of triglycerides.