Pentoxifylline has been used to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs) due to its anti-tumor necrosis factor-α effects.
Dr Tao Zeng and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials to investigate the effect of pentoxifylline on the biochemical and histological parameters of NAFLD patients.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted in the database including PubMed, Embase, ISI web of knowledge, the Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar to identify randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials about the effects of pentoxifylline on NAFLD.
The pooled weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated to compare the effects of pentoxifylline and placebo.
The team identified 5 well-designed studies.
|Pentoxifylline significantly improved steatosis|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Pooled results showed that pentoxifylline significantly reduced the serum alanine transaminase activity and aspartate transaminase activity in NAFLD patients compared with placebo.
In addition, the team found that pentoxifylline significantly improved steatosis, lobular inflammation, and fibrosis.
The researchers observed that pentoxifylline also led to significant reduction in BMI, and fasting glucose, but did not significantly affect the serum tumor necrosis factor α and adiponectin levels when compared with placebo.
Dr Zeng's team commented, "Pentoxifylline could reduce the aminotransferase activities, and improve the histological parameters in NAFLD patients."
"Large well-designed, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm these results."