Prospective randomized control study on the effect of branched-chain amino acids in patients with liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma

Aust N Z J Surg. 1999 Nov;69(11):811-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1622.1999.01701.x.


Background: Aminoleban EN contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and is known to be beneficial for the protein-energy malnutrition in cirrhotic patients. Patients suffering from hepatocellular carcinoma often have background cirrhosis, and the present study investigates the effect of Aminoleban EN on these patients after hepatic resection for the primary disease.

Methods: A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial, to which 50 patients were recruited, was carried out. The study group received Aminoleban EN in addition to normal diet for 12 weeks and the control group received an isonitrogenous and isocaloric diet only.

Results: After exclusions, there were 21 patients in the study group and 23 patients in the control. The study group had a shorter hospital stay, and had a significantly higher haemoglobin level, higher sodium level, higher albumin level and lower bilirubin during the postoperative course. There was no significant difference in terms of neuropsychiatric symptoms or Karnofsky performance score. There was no difference in gastrointestinal symptoms or other signs. No adverse reaction was associated with the administration of Aminoleban, and there was no significant difference in terms of morbidity and mortality between the two groups of patients.

Conclusion: Aminoleban EN is safe to administer and does not have significant adverse effects. It contributes to a shorter hospital stay and quicker improvement of liver function in the early postoperative period. These beneficial results require only a 12-week period of administration of BCAA after operation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / administration & dosage*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diet therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Analysis


  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain