WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Tesamorelin reduces liver fat content in patients with HIV and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study published online Oct. 11 in The Lancet HIV.

Takara L. Stanley, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assessed the effects of tesamorelin on liver fat and histology in people with HIV and NAFLD. Patients with HIV infection and a hepatic fat fraction (HFF) of ≥5 percent (measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy) were randomly assigned to either tesamorelin 2 mg once daily (30 patients) or placebo one daily (30 patients) for 12 months, followed by a six-month open-label phase in which all participants received tesamorelin 2 mg daily.

The researchers found that patients receiving tesamorelin had a greater reduction in HFF versus patients receiving placebo, with an absolute effect size of −4.1 percent, corresponding to a −37 percent relative reduction from baseline. Just over one-third of individuals (35 percent) receiving tesamorelin and 4 percent receiving placebo had an HFF <5 percent at 12 months. There were no differences noted between the groups with respect to changes in fasting glucose and glycated hemoglobin. Individuals in the tesamorelin group experienced more nonserious localized injection site complaints than patients in the placebo group.

“Tesamorelin might be an important new strategy for people with HIV and NAFLD, simultaneously reducing liver and visceral fat, and improving important inflammatory indices in this population,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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