medwireNews: Findings from a phase 3 randomized crossover trial suggest that 7 weeks of treatment with liraglutide may improve forced vital capacity (FVC) among people with type 2 diabetes and impaired lung function.
However, the primary outcome of change from baseline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was not significantly different among participants treated with the glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 receptor agonist versus placebo, reported Carolina López-Cano (Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, Lleida, Spain) at the virtual 57th EASD Annual Meeting.
Outlining the rationale for the LIRALUNG trial, she explained that “GLP-1 receptors have been found in significant amounts in the human lung,” and GLP-1 has been shown to play a role in the stimulation of lung surfactant, leading to the hypothesis that liraglutide could improve pulmonary function.
The trial included 76 obese people with type 2 diabetes duration of at least 5 years, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels of 7–10% (53–86 mmol/mol) and baseline FEV1 decline of at least 10% of predicted Participants were randomly assigned to receive treatment with subcutaneous liraglutide (1.8 mg/day following a 2-week titration period) or placebo for 7 weeks, after which time they switched to the other treatment following a 4-week washout period.
López-Cano reported that average FEV1 increased significantly from baseline to 7 weeks during treatment with liraglutide (from 81.0 to 85.2% predicted) or placebo (from 78.2 to 82.6% predicted), with no significant difference in the primary outcome of average change in FEV1 between the two groups.
However, FVC improved to a significantly greater degree with liraglutide versus placebo treatment, with an increase from 78.9% to 84.3% during treatment with the GLP-1 receptor agonist, compared with an increase from 79.1% to 79.4% during treatment with placebo, giving a significant between-group difference in average FVC change of 5.2 percentage points.
Participants also experienced a significant decrease in surfactant protein D (SP-D) levels during treatment with liraglutide that was not seen with placebo treatment. López-Cano noted that the absolute change in SP-D and the serum concentration of SP-D at week 7 correlated with the increase in FVC.
Together, these findings suggest that “liraglutide therapy has a positive effect on the surfactant layer that is associated with an increase in FVC measurement,” she concluded.
In line with previous studies, liraglutide treatment was associated with a significant decrease in glycated hemoglobin and BMI relative to placebo in the LIRALUNG trial.
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