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J Gastroenterol. 2012 Sep;47(9):1030-5. doi: 10.1007/s00535-012-0563-6. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

Portal hemodynamic effects of sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: a prospective cohort study.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Kitasato University East Hospital, 2-1-1 Asamizodai, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0380, Japan.



Sorafenib is currently in clinical use as an oral multikinase inhibitor that blocks tumor growth and cell proliferation in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It has been demonstrated in a translating study that sorafenib had a beneficial effect on portocollateral circulation in cirrhotic animals with portal hypertension. This study was prospectively performed to evaluate the portal hemodynamic effect of sorafenib in patients with advanced HCC using duplex Doppler ultrasonography (DDU).


Twenty-five Child-Pugh class-A patients with advanced HCC had received sorafenib at a dose of 400 mg twice daily. Primary outcomes were changes in portal venous area (PVA; cm(2)) as seen by using DDU before and after a 2-week administration of sorafenib. Secondary outcomes included the changes of laboratory data and other flow data revealed on DDU.


PVA was significantly decreased after a 2-week administration (0.78 ± 0.23 vs. 0.64 ± 0.25, P = 0.023), while the portal venous flow velocity (PVV; cm/s) was not significantly changed (0.22 ± 0.06 vs. 0.24 ± 0.07, P = 0.17). Therefore, the congestion index (PVA/PVV), which reflects the pathophysiological hemodynamics of portal venous system, was significantly decreased (3.9 ± 1.7 vs. 3.0 ± 1.4, P = 0.042).


We demonstrated the portal hemodynamic effect of sorafenib in patients with advanced HCC. Considering that this was a short-term study, because sorafenib could be a potential beneficial therapeutic agent for portal hypertension, it will be necessary to verify its clinical benefits for portal hypertension in future studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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