Vitamin E and changes in serum alanine aminotransferase levels in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
Published 2013. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 38, Issue 2, pages 134–143, July 2013
How to Cite
Hoofnagle, J. H., Van Natta, M. L., Kleiner, D. E., Clark, J. M., Kowdley, K. V., Loomba, R., Neuschwander-Tetri, B. A., Sanyal, A. J., Tonascia, J. and the Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) (2013), Vitamin E and changes in serum alanine aminotransferase levels in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 38: 134–143. doi: 10.1111/apt.12352
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 26 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 4 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 5 MAR 2013
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Grant Numbers: U01DK061718, U01DK061728, U01DK061731, U01DK061732, U01DK061734, U01DK061737, U01DK061738, U01DK061730, U01DK061713
- General Clinical Research Centers or Clinical and Translational Science Awards. Grant Numbers: UL1RR024989, UL1RR025761, M01RR00188, UL1RR024131, UL1RR025014, UL1RR031990, UL1RR025741, UL1RR029887, UL1RR24156, UL1RR025055, UL1RR031980
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common cause of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevations and chronic liver disease, but it is unclear how well ALT elevations reflect the liver injury.
To assess how well changes in ALT elevations reflect improvements in liver histology in response to vitamin E therapy.
The vitamin E and placebo arms of the Pioglitazone vs. Vitamin E vs. Placebo in Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (PIVENS) trial were reassessed for associations among changes in ALT levels, body weight and liver histology. An ALT response was defined as a decrease to ≤40 U/L and by ≥30% of baseline. Liver biopsies taken before and after treatment were scored for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease activity (NAS) and fibrosis.
ALT responses were more frequent among vitamin E (48%) than placebo (16%) recipients (P < 0.001). Among vitamin E recipients, ALT responses were associated with decreases in NAS (P < 0.001), but not fibrosis scores (P = 0.34), whereas among placebo recipients, ALT responses were associated with significant decreases in both (P < 0.05). Weight loss (≥2 kg) was also associated with ALT response (P < 0.001), improvements in NAS (P < 0.001) and fibrosis (P < 0.02), but vitamin E had an added effect both with and without weight loss. Weight gain (≥2 kg) was associated with lack of ALT response and worsening NAS and fibrosis scores in patients not on vitamin E.
Decrease of ALT levels to normal in patients with NASH is usually associated with improved histological activity. Management should stress the value of weight loss and strongly discourage weight gain. Vitamin E can improve both ALT levels and histology with and without weight loss. Clinical Trial Number: NCT00063622.