Angiotensin receptor blockers improve survival outcomes after radiofrequency ablation in hepatocarcinoma patients

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Nov;30(11):1643-50. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12988.


Background and aim: Inhibition of angiotensin II synthesis seems to decrease hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after radical therapies; however, data on the adjuvant role of angiotensin II receptor 1 blockers (sartans) are still lacking. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether sartans delay time to recurrence and prolong overall survival in hepatocellular carcinoma patients after radiofrequency ablation.

Methods: Data on 153 patients were reviewed. The study population was classified into three groups: 73 (47.8%) patients who received neither angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors nor sartans (group 1), 49 (32%) patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (group 2), and 31 (20.2%) patients treated with sartans (group 3). Survival outcomes were analysed by means of Kaplan-Meier analysis and compared with log-rank test.

Results: In the whole study population, 85.6% of patients were in Child-Pugh A class and 89.6% in Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer A stage. Median maximum tumor diameter was 30 mm (10-40) and alpha fetoprotein was 25 (1.1-2100) UI/mL. No differences in baseline characteristics among the three groups were reported. Median overall survival was 48 months (95% confidence interval: 31-58) in group 1, 72 months (49-89) in group 2, and 84 months (58-92) in group 3 (P = 0.02). Median time to recurrence was 26 (15-42), 44 (33-72), and 69 (44-74) months in the three groups, respectively (P = 0.02). Sartan therapy was a significant predictor of longer overall survival and delayed time to recurrence on multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Sartans significantly improved overall survival and time to recurrence after radiofrequency ablation in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.

Keywords: HCC; RFA; liver cancer; sartans; survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists