Empagliflozin shown to significantly reduce liver fat in patients with T2DM, according to a new study.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a build up of fat on the liver, but not related to drinking alcohol.
Mabrish Mithal, MD, of Medanta-The Medicity Hospital in Delhi, India states, “NAFLD can progress to [non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH], and subsequently to cirrhosis and even cancer of the liver, potentially fatal conditions. NAFLD is particularly common in diabetes. Medications to treat NAFLD/NASH are sorely needed.”
Empagliflozin is a sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor that has been shown in rodent models to reduce liver fat. Empagliflozin and other SGLT-2 inhibitors are used to lower blood sugar in adults with T2DM.
Dr. Mithal and colleagues from Medanta-The Medicity Hospital hoped to determine if empagliflozin could reduce liver fat in T2DM patients with NAFLD; they presented their E-LIFT trial as a late breaking abstract at the ENDO 2018 annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
The E-LIFT trial is a single-center, prospective, open-label, randomized controlled trial looking at 50 patients with T2DM and NAFLD. Subjects were randomized to receive standard treatment for T2DM plus empagliflozin or standard treatment without empagliflozin. The primary outcome was liver fat change over 20 weeks.
Implication for Physicians
Kuchay MS, Krishan S, Mishra SK, Mithal A. Effect of empagliflozin on liver fat in patients with type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled trial (E-LIFT trial). Paper presented at The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting (ENDO 2018); March 2018; Chicago, IL.