Liraglutide reduces attenuation coefficient as a measure of hepatic steatosis during 16 weeks' treatment in nondiabetic obese patients: A pilot trial

Xiao Jing Wang, Ping Gong, Chenyun Zhou, Chengwu Huang, U. Wai Lok, Shanshan Tang, Ann Taylor, Deborah Eckert, Shigao Chen, Michael Camilleri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Aim: Liraglutide, a long-acting GLP-1 analog, is approved for the treatment of obesity with improvements in fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and cardiovascular health. Our aim was to measure the impact of liraglutide dose for obesity on hepatic steatosis measured by ultrasound. Methods: A single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial was undertaken in nondiabetic obese, otherwise healthy patients aged 18–65 years. Participants were randomly assigned to receive subcutaneous liraglutide (3.0 mg) or placebo over 16 weeks with dose escalation following US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Both groups received standardized nutritional and behavioral counseling during the 16 weeks. Hepatic fat content was measured by ultrasound at baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks as an attenuation coefficient (ACE). Effects of treatment were assessed using t-test for the entire groups and for patient subgroup with baseline ACE >0.66 (indicating significant steatosis). Results: Among 30 patients (93% female) enrolled, 16 were randomized to placebo and 14 to liraglutide. Baseline body mass indices (BMIs) and average age were similar in the two groups. After 16 weeks, the liraglutide group had a significant improvement in steatosis ACE scores (−0.068 ± 0.02 vs −0.0077 ± 0.02 placebo, P = 0.05). Change in steatosis was positively correlated with change in BMI (R2 = 0.402, P = 0.0007). Within the liraglutide group, patients with baseline ACE >0.66 had improvement in ACE (−0.134 ± 0.03) compared to those without significant steatosis (−0.041 ± 0.02, P = 0.05). Conclusions: In this pilot trial, liraglutide, 3.0 mg over 16 weeks, reduced hepatic steatosis; a reduction in hepatic steatosis is correlated with BMI reduction, and effects are particularly evident in those with a significant degree of steatosis by ultrasound imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalJGH Open
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • GLP-1 analog
  • body mass index
  • hepatic steatosis
  • ultrasound imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology

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