Fatigue in patients with advanced NASH may increase risk for adverse events

Source/Disclosures

Disclosures: The study was funded by the Center for Outcomes Research in Liver Diseases and Gilead Sciences.

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Worse fatigue at baseline among patients with nonalcohol steatohepatitis-related advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis correlated with a higher risk adverse clinical events, according to published results.

“Although generally considered asymptomatic, almost half of patients with NASH have clinically significant fatigue which, in turn, has a profound negative impact on the overall patient experience,” Zobair M. YounossiMD, president of Inova Medicine Services and professor and chairman of the department of medicine at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Virginia, and colleagues wrote in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “In this context, ongoing clinical trials aim at finding a drug-based therapy for NASH that may reverse fibrosis and could also potentially improve fatigue. Given that, patient-reported outcome instruments are now commonly included in these trials in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the investigational drugs on patients and their experience.”

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For 2 years, Younossi and colleagues followed 1,679 patients with biopsyconfirmed NASH, 802 had bridging fibrosis (F3) and 877 compensated cirrhosis (F4). Fatigue was quantified at baseline with the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ)- NASH fatigue domain. Time to liver-related clinical events such as progression to histologic cirrhosis or hepatic decompensation in F3F4 was assessed with Cox proportional hazard model.

median follow-up of 16 months, 15% (n=123) of NASH F3 patients experienced liver-related events and 3.5% (n=31) of NASH F4 patients experienced hepatic decompensation. Among F3 patients, the mean baseline CLDQ-NASH fatigue score was 4.77hose who experienced liver-related events lower baseline scores 4.47 4.83. Among patients with F4, the mean fatigue score was 4.56 who decompensated3.74 4.59.

fter for confounders, correlation between lower fatigue scores and risk liver-related or decompensation events adjusted HR 0.85, per 1 point in fatigue score in F3; aHR = 0.62 in F4.

“This suggests that, in addition to commonly used clinical parameters, presence of clinically significant fatigue can identify NASH patients at risk for adverse events,” the authors wrote. “Since fatigue also negatively impacts patients [health-related quality of life] and work, it adds to the disease burden related to NASH. Given the critical importance of fatigue in NASH, clinical trials of regimens for NASH should not only show improvement of surrogates of clinical endpoints, such as the stage of fibrosis or resolution of NASH , but also improvement in patient-reported endpoints, such as fatigue.”

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