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AIDS. 2020 Feb 1;34(2):237-244. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002412.

Vitamin E is an effective treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in HIV mono-infected patients.

Author information

1
Chronic Viral Illness Service.
2
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Montreal.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University.
4
Division of Hematology, MUHC, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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.

DESIGN:

Single-centre, phase IV, open-label, single arm clinical trial.

METHODS:

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) at least 248 dB/m and significant hepatocyte apoptosis, defined by the serum biomarker cytokeratin 18 (CK-18) greater than 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 postdiscontinuation. Generalized linear mixed effects models were used to evaluate changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), CAP and CK-18 at the completion of treatment and end of follow-up, controlling for pretreatment trends.

RESULTS:

A total of 27 patients were included. Four (15%) had a pretreatment liver biopsy, which confirmed the diagnosis of NASH in all cases. Compared with baseline, 24 weeks of vitamin E treatment improved ALT [-27 units/l; 95% confidence interval (CI) -37 to -17], CAP scores (-22 dB/m; 95% CI -42 to -1) and CK-18 (-123 units/l; 95% CI -201 to -46). Conversely, there was no change in BMI. No serious adverse event was reported and no patient was lost to follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

In this first clinical trial, we showed that vitamin E is an effective and well tolerated treatment for NASH in HIV-infected patients.

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