Serum miR-18a: A Potential Marker for Hepatitis B Virus-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma Screening

Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 08/16/2012

The results suggest that serum microRNAs (miRNAs)–18a might serve as a novel and potential noninvasive biomarker for hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) screening.


  • This study was divided into two phases: firstly, marker (miR-95, miR-18a, miR-10b, miR125a, and miR-378) detection by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in sera from HBV patients with HCC (n=15) and health subject (n=15); and, secondly, marker validation by real-time qRT-PCR on HBV patients with HCC (n=86) or hepatitis or cirrhosis (n=30), and healthy subject (n=45).


  • Serum miR-18a was significantly higher in HBV patients with HCC than healthy controls (p < 0.01); serum miR-378 was significantly lower in HBV patients with HCC compared to healthy control (p<0.05).
  • Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses suggested that serum miR-18a had significant diagnostic value for HBV-related HCC.
  • MiR-18a yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of ROC of 0.881 with 86.1 % sensitivity and 75.0 % specificity in discriminating HBV-related HCC from healthy controls, and an AUC of ROC of 0.775 with 77.2 % sensitivity and 70.0 % specificity in discriminating HBV-related HCC from chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.

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