Saroglitazar improves nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic health in liver transplant recipients

Liver Transpl. 2023 Sep 1;29(9):979-986. doi: 10.1097/LVT.0000000000000110. Epub 2023 Feb 28.


NAFLD is common after liver transplantation (LT) and is associated with an increased metabolic burden. Currently, there is a paucity of investigations into the treatment of post-LT NAFLD. In the present study, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of saroglitazar, a novel dual peroxisome proliferator-associated receptor α/γ agonist, on the treatment of post-LT NAFLD and metabolic burden. This is a phase 2A, single-center, open-label, single-arm study in which patients with post-LT NAFLD received saroglitazar magnesium 4 mg daily for 24 weeks. NAFLD was defined by a controlled attenuation parameter ≥264 dB/m. The primary endpoint was the reduction in liver fat as measured by MRI proton density fat fraction (MRI-PDFF). Secondary MRI-based metabolic endpoints included visceral adipose tissue, abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue volumes, muscle fat infiltration, and fat-free muscle volume. Saroglitazar treatment led to a reduction in MRI-PDFF from 10.3±10.5% at baseline to 8.1±7.6%. A relative 30% reduction from baseline MRI-PDFF value was noted in 47% of all patients and 63% of patients with baseline MRI-PDFF >5%. Reduction in serum alkaline phosphatase was an independent predictor of MRI-PDFF response. Saroglitazar did not decrease fat-free muscle volume nor increase muscle fat infiltration, but did lead to a mild increase in visceral adipose tissue and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. The study drug was well tolerated and a mild nonsignificant increase in serum creatinine was noted. Saroglitazar did not affect the weight. The study provides preliminary data demonstrating the safety and metabolic benefits of saroglitazar in LT recipients and underscores the importance of future studies to establish its efficacy after LT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / drug therapy
  • Phenylpropionates* / therapeutic use


  • saroglitazar
  • Phenylpropionates