- 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY, USA.
- 2Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Glen Oaks, NY, USA.
Background: Due to lack of targeted treatment options and inconsistent utilization of histologic endpoints among clinical trials, identifying efficacious pharmacotherapies for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH] has proven challenging.
Methods: A thorough systematic review and frequentist random-effects network meta-analysis was performed across all randomized clinical trials reporting a pharmacotherapeutic intervention on biopsy-proven NASH. Primary outcomes were based on the most current, up-to-date recommended histologic endpoints.
Results: A total of 40 RCTs were identified including 6593 total patients. The most effective and statistically significant treatment interventions for minimum two-point improvement in NAFLD Activity Score were aldafermin 1 mg [RR 7.69, 95% CI 2.00; 29.57], vitamin E 800 IU in combination with pioglitazone 45 mg [RR 3.38, 95% CI 1.88; 6.07], pioglitazone 45 mg [RR 3.29, 95% CI 1.74; 6.22], vitamin E 800 IU [RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.33; 3.18], resmetirom 80 mg [RR 1.74, 95% CI 1.03; 2.94], obeticholic acid 25 mg [RR 1.63, 95% CI 1.32; 2.01], and obeticholic acid 10 mg [RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.02; 1.67]). The most robust pharmacotherapies for NASH resolution without worsening fibrosis were found to be aldafermin 1 mg [RR 5.77, 95% CI 1.48; 22.51], pioglitazone 45 mg [RR 2.65, 95% CI 1.43; 4.91], vitamin E 800 IU in combination with pioglitazone 45 mg [RR 2.64, 95% CI 1.36; 5.12], pioglitazone 30 mg [RR 2.46, 95% CI 1.56; 3.88], vitamin E 800 IU [RR 1.90, 95% CI 1.20; 3.00], and obeticholic acid 25 mg [RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.03; 2.23]). Obeticholic acid had a significant improvement on fibrosis. Multiple interventions were found to improve individual histologic scores across secondary outcome analyses and are detailed below.
Conclusion: This novel systematic review and network meta-analysis represents the most comprehensive investigation to date regarding the pharmacotherapeutic options for biopsy-proven NASH using current recommended histologic endpoints.