1 Chronic Viral Illness Service, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Montreal, QC, Canada.
2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MUHC, Montreal, QC, Canada.
3 Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, QC Canada.
4 Division of Hematology, MUHC, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are at increased risk of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Vitamin E is recommended for treatment of NASH in the general population. However, its safety and efficacy among HIV-infected patients remain unknown.
Single centre, phase IV, open-label, single arm clinical trial.
HIV mono-infected patients without significant alcohol intake or viral hepatitis coinfection were included. The diagnosis of NASH was based on the co-existence of fatty liver, diagnosed by controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) ≥ 248?dB/m, and significant hepatocyte apoptosis, defined by the serum biomarker cytokeratin 18 (CK-18) >130.5?U/L. Participants were treated with 800 IU daily of oral vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) for 24 weeks, and followed for an additional 24 weeks post-discontinuation. Generalized linear mixed effects models were used to evaluate changes in ALT, CAP and CK-18 at the completion of treatment and end of follow-up, controlling for pre-treatment trends.
A total of 27 patients were included. Four (15%) had a pretreatment liver biopsy, which confirmed the diagnosis of NASHin all cases. Compared to baseline, 24 weeks of vitamin E treatment improved ALT (-27?units/L; 95% confidence interval [CI] -37, --17), CAP scores (-22?dB/m; 95% CI -42, -1) and CK-18 (-123?units/L; 95% CI -201, -46). Conversely, there was no change in BMI. No serious adverse event was reported and no patient was lost to follow-up.
In this first clinical trial, we showed that vitamin E is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for NASH in HIV-infected patients.