Metformin in the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: a pilot open label trial.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Insulin sensitizing agents may be useful in treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. AIM: A pilot study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of metformin in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. METHODS: In an open labelled study, patients with histologically confirmed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were given metformin (20 mg/kg) for 1 year. Insulin resistance (by log homeostasis assessment model analysis for insulin resistance and Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index) and post-treatment hepatic histology were compared with pre-treatment histology. RESULTS: Fifteen patients completed 1 year of treatment. During the initial 3 months, there was improvement in alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase (P-value 0.01 and 0.02, respectively) along with improvement in insulin sensitivity. However, after 3 months, there was no further improvement in insulin sensitivity and there was gradual rise in aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase back to pre-treatment levels. Among the 10 patients with post-treatment biopsy, three (33%), showed improvement in steatosis, two (20%) showed improvement in inflammation score and one (10%) showed improvement in fibrosis. CONCLUSION: Metformin treatment was associated with only a transient improvement in liver chemistries. A progressive, sustainable reduction in insulin sensitivity was not noted during treatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nair, S; Diehl, AM; Wiseman, M; Farr, GH; Perrillo, RP

Published Date

  • July 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 23 - 28

PubMed ID

  • 15225167

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0269-2813

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.02025.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England