Exenatide Reduced Liver Fat in Obese Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

(HealthDay News) — For patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, exenatide reduces epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) and liver fat content, according to a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Anne Dutour, MD, PhD, from Inserm U1062 in Marseille, France, and colleagues randomly assigned 44 obese patients with type 2 diabetes to receive 26 weeks of exenatide or reference treatment according to French guidelines. Forty-five minutes after a standardized meal, EAT, myocardial (MTGC), hepatic (HTGC), and pancreatic triglyceride (PTGC) content were assessed with 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

The researchers found that there were similar improvements in HbA1c with exenatide and reference treatment (P=.29). Significant weight loss was seen for exenatide only (P=.001 for the difference between groups). Significant reductions were seen in EAT and HTGC with exenatide vs the reference-treated group (P=.003 and P=.007, respectively). There were no significant differences in other ectopic fat stores, PTGC, or MTGC. 

Reductions in liver fat and EAT were not associated with homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance, adiponectin, HbA1c, or fructosamin change in the exenatide group; they did correlate with weight loss (P=.03 and P=.018, respectively).

“Exenatide is an effective treatment to reduce liver fat content and epicardial fat in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, and these effects are mainly weight loss dependent,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Dutour A, Abdesselam I, Ancel P, et al. Exenatide decreases Liver fat content and Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Patients with obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: A prospective randomised clinical trial using Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016. doi:10.1111/dom.12680.