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Performance of Serum Glypican 3 in Diagnosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A meta-analysis

Dahai Xu, Chang Su, Liang Sun, Yuanyuan Gao, Youjun Li


Introduction and aim. Serum glypican-3 (GPC3) has been explored as a non-invasive biomarker of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, controversy remains on its diagnostic accuracy. Therefore, we aimed to conduct a systematic review and metaanalysis to evaluate the differential diagnostic accuracy of serum GPC3 between HCC and liver cirrhosis (LC) cases. Material and methods. After the strict filtering and screening of studies from NCBI, PUBMED, Clinical Trials, Cochrane library, Embase, Prospero and Web of Science databases, 11 studies were selected. All studies provided the sensitivity and specificity of GPC3 and the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in the HCC and LC diagnosis. The sensitivity and specificity, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were determined and compared between GPC3 and AFP, which was set as a positive control. Results. Pooled sensitivity (95% CI) and specificity (95% CI) were 0.55 (0.52-0.58) and 0.58 (0.54-0.61) for GPC3, 0.54 (0.51-0.57) and 0.83 (0.80-0.85) for AFP, and 0.85 (0.81-0.89) and 0.79 (0.73-0.84) for GPC3 + AFP, respectively. The AUCs of GPC3, AFP and GPC3 + AFP were 0.7793, 0.7867 and 0.9366, respectively. GPC3 had a nearly similar sensitivity as AFP, while the specificity and AUC of GPC3 was lower than that of AFP. The combination of GPC3 and AFP yielded a better sensitivity and AUC than GPC3 or AFP. Conclusion. Serum GPC3 is inferior to AFP in the differential diagnosis between HCC and LC. However, the combination of GPC3 and AFP exhibited a much better performance.

Key words. Alpha fetoprotein, Biomarker, Liver cirrhosis, Sensitivity, Specificity

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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