Design and rationale for a real-world observational cohort of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: The TARGET-NASH study

A. S. Barritt, Norman Gitlin, Samuel Klein, Anna S. Lok, Rohit Loomba, Laura Malahias, Margaret Powell, Miriam B. Vos, L. Michael Weiss, Kenneth Cusi, Brent A. Neuschwander-Tetri, Arun Sanyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is highly prevalent and can lead to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and end-stage liver disease. NAFLD comprises the spectrum from simple steatosis (nonalcoholic fatty liver, NAFL), to steatosis with inflammation (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH). Current primary therapy recommended for NAFLD is weight loss induced by lifestyle modification. The difficulty in achieving this has led to robust pharmacological therapy development. While new drugs may show efficacy in selected phase II/III clinical trial populations, their real-world effectiveness is unknown. TARGET-NASH is a 5-year, longitudinal, observational study of patients with NAFLD designed to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical practice interventions and provide practical information unobtainable in registration trials. A biological specimen repository is included in TARGET-NASH for translational studies of genomics and biomarkers of disease activity. Patients are enrolling at adult and pediatric sites representing multiple specialties. All patients being managed for NAFLD are eligible, whereas those in other NASH registries or clinical trials will be excluded. Enrolled patients range in age from 6 and up and will have 3 years of clinical data reviewed. Patient comorbidities, concomitant medications, disease progression and off-label interventions will be assessed, and adverse outcomes, monitored. Confirming the use, safety and effectiveness of NAFLD interventions in children and adults and establishing pragmatic methods of assessing disease progression under real-world conditions are key study outcomes. Ultimately, TARGET-NASH will establish a large, diverse registry of NAFLD patients at academic and community practices to be leveraged to improve health and reduce development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Biomarker
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Observational
  • Real-world


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