Vitamin E Improves Transplant-Free Survival and Hepatic Decompensation Among Patients With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis and Advanced Fibrosis

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Vitamin E improves liver histology in adults with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) but not diabetes, but its impact on long-term patient outcomes is unknown. We evaluated whether vitamin E treatment improves clinical outcomes of NASH patients with bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis. Two hundred and thirty-six patients with biopsy-proven NASH and bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis seen at Indiana University Medical Center between October 2004 and January 2016 were included. Ninety of them took 800 international units/day of vitamin E for ≥2 years (vitamin E users) and were propensity-matched to 90 adults who did not take vitamin E (controls) after adjusting for fibrosis severity, age, gender, body mass index, comorbidities and their treatment, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, liver biochemistries, and length of follow-up on vitamin E. Covariate-adjusted Cox and competing risk regression models were assessed to evaluate the association between vitamin E treatment and patient outcomes. The median follow-up was 5.62 (interquartile range [IQR], 4.3-7.5) and 5.6 (IQR, 4-6.9) years for vitamin E users and controls, respectively. Vitamin E users had higher adjusted transplant-free survival (78% versus 49%, P < 0.01) and lower rates of hepatic decompensation (37% versus 62%, P = 0.04) than controls. After controlling for severity of fibrosis, calendar year of patient enrollment, and other potential confounders, vitamin E treatment decreased the risk of death or transplant (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.74; P < 0.01) and hepatic decompensation (adjusted sub-HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.28-0.96; P = 0.036). These benefits were evident in both those with diabetes and those without diabetes. Adjusted 10-year cumulative probabilities of hepatocellular carcinoma, vascular events, and nonhepatic cancers were not different between vitamin E–exposed patients and controls. Conclusion: Vitamin E use was associated with improved clinical outcomes in patients with NASH and bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-509
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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