Investigators study Pioglitazone and Vitamin E for treatment of NASH

November 08, 2017

"This study was conducted in people who had NASH but did not have diabetes. The benefits of either treatment in NASH patients who have diabetes remain unknown," said Sanyal. "Also, the study lasted only two years and the potential long-term benefits and risks of taking vitamin E or Actos in these doses are still uncertain."

Researchers acknowledge that many participants receiving these treatments did not improve. To better understand response to treatment, the NASH CRN is engaged in studies to define simple, non-invasive methods to determine if an individual patient is responding to drug therapy. A liver biopsy is currently the best way to assess response to treatment for NASH.

"The PIVENS trial provides key evidence to support the use of vitamin E for selected patients with NASH. However, before prescribing either drug, physicians must not only weigh the potential risks and benefits of treatment, particularly with long-term therapy, but also the need for future liver biopsies to assess the response to treatment," said Stephen P. James, M.D., director of NIDDK's Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. "Use of vitamin E at these doses for NASH should be monitored by a physician."

PIVENS was conducted by researchers at the following centers:

Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Duke University, Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Indiana University, Indianapolis Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Saint Louis University and Washington University, St. Louis University of California San Diego University of California San Francisco Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond Virginia Mason Medical Center and the University of Washington, Seattle

Source: NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases