Introduction and Aim:
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a deadly complication among patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). Controversies on the efficacy and safety of statin to prevent HCC among patients with CLD remain despite the growing evidences. We aim to investigate the efficacy and safety of using statin for HCC prevention among adult with CLD.
We performed a systematic search of 4 electronic databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and ClinicalTrial.gov) up to April 15, 2020. We selected all types of studies evaluating the statin use and the risk of HCC among CLD patients, regardless of language, region, publication date, or status. The primary endpoint was the pooled risk of HCC. The secondary endpoint was the risk of statin-associated myopathy.
From 583 citations, we included a total of 13 studies (1,742,260 subjects, 7 types of statins), fulfilling the inclusion criteria, evaluating efficacy and safety of statin in CLD patients for HCC prevention. All studies were observational (2 nested case-control studies, 11 cohort studies), and no randomised trial was identified. We found that statin user has a lower pooled risk of HCC development (hazard ratio=0.57, 95% confidence interval: 0.52-0.62, I2=42%). HCC reduction was consistent among statin users in cirrhosis, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus infections. The risk of statin-associated myopathy was similar between statin user and nonuser (hazard ratio=1.07, 95% confidence interval=0.91-1.27).
Statin use was safe and associated with a lower pooled risk of HCC development among adults with CLD. Given the bias with observation studies, prospective randomised trial is needed to confirm this finding.