Efficacy and safety in sitagliptin therapy for diabetes complicated by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


  • Guarantor of the article: Yasuji Arase, MD.
  • Conflict of interest: None.
  • Financial disclosure: Yasuji Arase, Norio Akuta and Hiromitsu Kumada have participated in speakers’ bureaus for MSD, Tokyo, Japan.



The aim of this case–control study was to assess the efficacy and safety of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (sitagliptin) for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).


Twenty NAFLD patients with T2DM treated by sitagliptin were retrospectively enrolled as the sitagliptin group. These patients were given sitagliptin between January 2010 and July 2011. Another 20 NAFLD patients with T2DM treated only with diet and exercise for 48 weeks were selected as the control group. Serum levels of fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were measured before and 12, 24, 36 and 48 weeks after the initiation of treatment.


In the sitagliptin group, average HbA1c levels decreased approximately 0.7% at 48 weeks after the initiation of sitagliptin. Next, average FPG levels decreased approximately 15 mg/dL at 48 weeks after the initiation of sitagliptin. The serum levels of HbA1c and FPG in the sitagliptin group decreased with statistical significance compared to those in the control group (P < 0.05). All the patients could take sitagliptin of 50 mg/day without reduction necessitated by sitagliptin-related side-effects. There were no significant changes of average AST and ALT levels during follow up of 48 weeks in both sitagliptin and control groups.


Our results indicate sitagliptin is effective and safe for the treatment of T2DM complicated with NAFLD.