San Francisco, CA
18 - 65
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), or fat-related liver inflammation and scarring is projected to be the leading cause of cirrhosis in the United States (U.S.) within the next few years. Women are at disproportionate risk for NASH, with approximately 15 million U.S. women affected. There is an urgent need to understand risk factors for NASH and its progression in women, and sex hormones may provide a missing link.
The investigator's preliminary data support a detrimental role of androgens, or "male sex hormones" on fatty liver in women but no studies have evaluated whether androgens are associated with liver inflammation and/or scarring from fatty liver (aka NASH). To better understand the mechanism by which androgens might promote NASH and/or metabolic co-factors that contribute to NASH, the investigators are conducting a pilot clinical trial to primarily assess the feasibility of using an androgen blocking medication, spironolactone, in women with NASH. Spironolactone was selected because it is has been commonly prescribed for decades with good safety profile and tolerability to treat symptoms of high androgens, like acne and hirsutism in young women. Though primarily a feasibility-focused study, the investigators also aim to explore the pathways by which blocking testosterone receptors might alter the biologic processes that promote NASH and its associated metabolic co-morbidities in women.