Liraglutide cuts renal triglyceride content in diabetics

22 Nov 2021
Liraglutide cuts renal triglyceride content in diabetics

In type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, glycaemic control through liraglutide reduces renal triglyceride content (RTGC), a recent study has found.

Researchers conducted a single-centre parallel-group trial, enrolling 50 T2DM patients (mean age 56.5±9.1 years, 46 percent men) randomized to receive liraglutide (n=22) or placebo (n=28) in addition to standard care. The glycaemic control trial lasted for 26 weeks, after which RTGC was measured using proton spectroscopy.

Only 17 patients finished the trial and provided follow-up data (n=9 for liraglutide, n=8 for placebo). At 26 weeks, the researchers documented a significant decrease in mean glycated haemoglobin, dropping from 7.8±0.8 percent at baseline to 7.3±0.9 percent at follow-up (p=0.046). Similarly, log-transformed RTGC was significantly lower after 26 weeks of glycaemic control (–0.68±0.30 percent to –0.83±0.32 percent; p=0.049).

Comparisons between intervention arms revealed that liraglutide, but not placebo, induced significant decreases in RTGC. In particular, mean log-transformed RTGC was –0.67±0.32 percent at baseline in the liraglutide arm, which dropped to –0.97±0.16 percent at follow-up. However, in the placebo arm, values remained mostly consistent (–0.68±0.30 percent to –0.68±0.40 percent).

The resulting RTGC ratio between week-26 and baseline measurements was significantly lower in the liraglutide than placebo arm (–0.30 vs –0.003; p=0.04).

“Our study indicates that glycaemic control, in particular for liraglutide, might influence ectopic lipid accumulation in the kidney. Considering tight glycaemic control can reduce the risk of diabetic nephropathy, our findings support the role of fatty kidney as a potential driver of diabetic kidney disease,” the researchers said.

“Larger clinical studies are needed to assess whether these changes reflect a true effect of glycaemic control on fatty kidney,” they added.

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