Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Original Article

Circulating MicroRNA Panel as a Diagnostic Marker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China


Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Huzhou Central Hospital, Zhejiang University Huzhou Hospital, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China


Department of Nephrology, the First People’s Hospital of Huzhou, the First Affiliated Hospital of Huzhou Teachers College, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China


Clinical Medicine Innovation Center of Precision Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Disease of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China


Key Laboratory of Precision Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Tumor of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China


Research Center of Diagnosis and Treatment Technology for Hepatocellular Carcinoma of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China


Clinical Research Center of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Diseases of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China

Turk J Gastroenterol 2022; 33: 844-851
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2022.21183
Read: 1260 Downloads: 419 Published: 01 October 2022

Background: Current diagnostic markers for hepatocellular carcinoma are compromised and limited by their low sensitivity and speci- ficity. In this study, circulating microRNAs were utilized as a diagnostic tool to segregate hepatocellular carcinoma patients from healthy subjects.

Methods: We analyzed 2 public datasets for differences in plasma microRNA expression profiles of hepatocellular carcinoma patients and healthy controls to identify biomarkers related to hepatocellular carcinoma. Plasma samples from hepatocellular carcinoma patients and control subjects were then collected for next-generation microRNA sequencing analysis. The differential microRNAs obtained from the above 3 parts were intersected to obtain microRNAs that were significantly different between the 2 groups. We then analyzed 58 specimens, which come from hepatocellular carcinoma and the control group, for validation through a quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The diagnostic value of these differentially expressed miRNAs was assessed by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Results: The levels of miR-206 and miR-222 were significantly higher (P < .05) and the level of miR-126 was lower (P < .05) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma than in healthy subjects. Receiver operating characteristic analysis established a powerful diagnostic accuracy when miR-206, miR-222, and miR-126 were combined (area under curve = 0.887), which was similar to that of the markerα-fetoprotein (area under curve = 0.889). When the microRNAs were combined with α-fetoprotein, the accuracy of hepatocellular carci- noma diagnostic potential was further improved (area under curve = 0.989).

Conclusion: We identified 3 microRNAs significantly altered in the plasma of hepatocellular carcinoma patients and they can screen patients at risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Cite this article as: Wu X, Wan R, Ren L, Yang Y, Ding Y, Wang W. Circulating MicroRNA panel as a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2022;33(10):844-851.

EISSN 2148-5607