systematic review with individual patient data meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials on patients with type 2 diabetes
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist lixisenatide on elevated liver blood tests in patients with type 2 diabetes. DESIGN: Systematic review. DATA SOURCES: Electronic and manual searches were combined. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on lixisenatide versus placebo or active comparators for type 2 diabetes were included. PARTICIPANTS: Individual patient data were retrieved to calculate outcomes for patients with elevated liver blood tests. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Normalisation of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). DATA SYNTHESIS: The results of included trials were combined in meta-analyses. Sequential, subgroup and regression analyses were performed to evaluate heterogeneity and bias. RESULTS: We included 12 RCTs on lixisenatide versus placebo and 3 RCTs with the active comparators liraglutide, exenatide or sitagliptin. The mean treatment duration was 29 weeks. Lixisenatide increased the proportion of patients with normalisation of ALT (risk difference: 0.07; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.14; number needed to treat: 14 patients, p=0.042). The effect was not confirmed in sequential analysis. No effects of lixisenatide were identified on AST, alkaline phosphatase or bilirubin. No evidence of bias was identified. Mixed effect multilevel meta-regression analyses suggest that the benefit of lixisenatide on ALT was limited to patients who were overweight or obese. CONCLUSIONS: This review suggests that lixisenatide increases the proportion of obese or overweight patients with type 2 diabetes who achieve normalisation of ALT. Additional research is needed to determine if the findings translate to clinical outcome measures. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO; CRD42013005779.