Empagliflozin Reduces Liver Fat in Individuals With and Without Diabetes

Siham Abdelgani, Ahmed Khattab, John Adams, Gozde Baskoy, Marissa Brown, Geoff Clarke, Olga Larvenenko, Ralph A. Defronzo, Muhammad Abdul-Ghani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE To examine the effect of empagliflozin on liver fat content in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the relationship between the decrease in liver fat and other metabolic actions of empagliflozin. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Thirty individuals with T2D and 27 without were randomly assigned to receive in double-blind fashion empagliflozin or matching placebo (2:1 ratio) for 12 weeks. Participants underwent 75-g oral glucose tolerance testing and measurement of liver fat content with MRS before therapy and at study end. Hepatic glucose production before the start of therapy was measured with 3-3 H-glucose. RESULTS Empagliflozin caused an absolute reduction of 2.39% ± 0.79% in liver fat content compared with an increase of 0.91% ± 0.64% in participants receiving placebo (P < 0.007 with ANOVA). The decrease in liver fat was comparable in both individuals with diabetes and those without (2.75% ± 0.81% and 1.93% ± 0.78%, respectively; P = NS). The decrease in hepatic fat content caused by empagliflozin was strongly correlated with baseline liver fat content (r = 20.62; P < 0.001), decrease in body weight (r = 0.53; P < 0.001), and improvement in insulin sensitivity (r = 20.51; P < 0.001) but was not related to the decrease in fasting plasma glucose or HbA1c or the increase in hepatic glucose production. CONCLUSIONS Empagliflozin is effective in reducing liver fat content in individuals with and without T2D. The decrease in liver fat content is independent of the decrease in plasma glucose concentration and is strongly related to the decrease in body weight and improvement in insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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