Aims and background. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are two major causes of liver disease worldwide. Epidemiological and clinical data have clearly demonstrated that NAFLD and its associated metabolic abnormalities are a risk factor for HCC. Traditionally, the mechanisms whereby NAFLD acts as a risk for HCC are believed to include replicative senescence of steatotic hepatocytes and compensatory hyperplasia of progenitor cells as a reaction to chronic hepatic injury. Recent years have witnessed significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the link between NAFLD and HCC.