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Effect of sitagliptin on hepatic histological activity and fibrosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis patients: a 1-year randomized control trial

Authors Alam S, Ghosh J, Mustafa G, Kamal M, Ahmad N

Received 25 November 2017

Accepted for publication 24 January 2018

Published 27 April 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 23—31


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gerry Lake-Bakaar

Shahinul Alam,1 Jhumur Ghosh,1 Golam Mustafa,1 Mohammad Kamal,2 Nooruddin Ahmad1

1Department of Hepatology, 2Department of Pathology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Background/purpose: Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) expression is directly associated with hepatic lipogenesis and liver injury in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This study has been designed to elucidate the histological improvement of NASH with the DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin.
Materials and methods: In this open-label randomized control trial, paired liver biopsy was taken from 40 NASH patients. Sitagliptin 100 mg was given once daily to the SL group and no sitagliptin was given to the L group for 1 year. Patients from both groups were encouraged to exercise moderately and advised to avoid saturated fat, excessive sugar, soft drinks, fast food, and refined carbohydrates to reduce weight.
Results: Steatosis improved in the SL group (from 2.3±0.6 to 1.2±0.8; P=0.000) and the L group (from 2.1±0.6 to 1.6±0.9; P=0.008), ballooning decreased from 1.8±0.6 to 1.3±06 (P=0.002) in the SL group, but not in the L group. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease activity score (NAS) attenuated in both groups: the SL group (from 5.8±0.9 to 3.9±1.4; P=0.000) and the L group (from 5.3±0.6 to 4.6±1.2; P=0.009). NAS improvement was much higher in the SL group (1.9±1.4) than in the L group (0.7±1.1) (P=0.006), with NAS improving by ≥2 in 13 patients from the SL group and five patients from the L group (P=0.01). Improvement was irrespective of diabetes. Regression analysis explored that sitagliptin had odds of 6.38 and weight reduction had odds of 4.51 for NAS reduction.
Conclusion: Sitagliptin 100 mg once daily for 1 year ameliorates NAS by improving steatosis and ballooning, irrespective of diabetes. Sitagliptin has stronger efficacy than that of weight reduction.

Keywords: fatty liver, NASH, sitagliptin, NAS, fibrosis, steatosis, ballooning, histological activity

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