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J Hepatol. 2007 Jul;47(1):135-41. Epub 2007 Mar 8.

Statins in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and chronically elevated liver enzymes: a histopathological follow-up study.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.



The effect of statins on hepatic histology in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not known. This study explores hepatic histology in NAFLD patients before and after initiation of statin therapy and compares histological outcome with NAFLD patients who had not been prescribed statins.


Sixty-eight NAFLD patients were re-evaluated. Follow-up ranged from 10.3 to 16.3 years. Subjects were clinically investigated and a repeat liver biopsy was obtained. No patient was taking statins at baseline while 17 patients were treated with statins at follow-up.


At baseline, patients that later were prescribed statins had significantly higher BMI and more pronounced hepatic steatosis. At follow-up patients on medication with statins continued to have significantly higher BMI. Diabetes was significantly more common among patients on medication with statins and they had significantly more pronounced insulin resistance. However, they exhibited a significant reduction of liver steatosis at follow-up as opposed to patients not taking statins. Despite exhibiting a high risk profile for progression of liver fibrosis, only four patients on statin treatment progressed in fibrosis stage.


Statins can be prescribed in patients with elevated liver enzymes because of NAFLD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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