There is no effective medical therapy available for all patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) may be beneficial.
In this study, doctors from North America randomized 166 patients with biopsy-proven NASH to receive either 13 to 15 mg per kg per day of UDCA or placebo for 2 years.
They noted any changes in liver test results and liver histology.
|The degree of steatosis, necroinflammation, and fibrosis was the same between the 2 groups.|
A total of 126 patients completed 2 years of therapy.
Pre- and posttreatment liver biopsies were available in 107 patients.
The team found that UDCA was well tolerated and that body weight remained stable during the study duration.
They determined that serum liver biochemistries remained stable or improved in both patient groups.
The team did not find any changes in the degree of steatosis, necroinflammation, or fibrosis between the 2 groups.
Dr Keith Lindor and colleagues conclude, "Two years of therapy with UDCA at a dose of 13 to 15 mg/kg/d…is not better than placebo for patients with NASH".