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Chin Med J (Engl). 2010 May 5;123(9):1201-5.

Diagnostic value of Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen-IgA in nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi 530021, China.



Non-invasive nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) screening usually involves serological testing for the presence of IgA antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) capsid antigen (VCA). The present meta-analysis determined the accuracy of VCA-IgA in the diagnosis of NPC.


A systematic review of studies was conducted and data on the accuracy of VCA-IgA concentrations in the diagnosis of NPC were pooled using random effects models. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to summarize the overall test performance.


Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. The summary estimates for VCA-IgA in the diagnosis of NPC were: sensitivity 0.91 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.90 - 0.92), specificity 0.92 (95%CI: 0.92 - 0.93), positive likelihood ratio 31.65 (95%CI: 10.99 - 91.15), negative likelihood ratio 0.10 (95%CI: 0.07 - 0.13) and diagnostic odds ratio 414.59 (95%CI: 174.96 - 982.42). The area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curves was 0.98.


The sensitivity and the specificity of serum VCA-IgA are very high, suggesting that the presence of VCA-IgA in peripheral blood is a valuable predictor for NPC.

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