Introduction Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been reported to benefit liver functions in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of this study is to critically appraise existing systematic reviews in order to consolidate evidence associating the use of SGLT2 inhibitors with beneficial hepatic results for patients with T2D with NAFLD. Methods This umbrella review searched relevant published systematic reviews of clinical trials from PubMed and Embase between inception and September 16, 2020. Two independent investigators appraised study quality using AMSTAR2 (Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews 2). The hepatic effects from SGLT2 inhibitors were summarized based on liver enzymes, liver fat, liver histology, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Results Of 25 screened potential systematic reviews, we ultimately included 7 in this study. However, none of them could be rated as being of high methodological quality. Five systematic reviews indicated that SGLT2 inhibitors could effectively decrease liver fat and liver parameters of alanine aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase in patients with NAFLD. Two systematic reviews indicated that SGLT2 inhibitors could reduce hepatosteatosis, as supported by biopsy-proven evidence of improvement from a small clinical trial, but no evidence of liver fibrosis improvement was found. Conclusions There is some association between SGLT2 inhibitor use and observed benefits to liver functions in patients with T2D with NAFLD, although the quality of current systematic reviews remains relatively low. Further evaluation of long-term liver outcomes with SGLT2 inhibitors in cases of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism