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

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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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