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Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr. 2013 Aug;2(4):209-15. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2304-3881.2013.06.07.

Serum VEGF level is associated with the outcome of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1First Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nanjing Chest Hospital, Nanjing 210029, China; ; The Collaborative Research (CORE) Group, Sydney, Australia.
  • 2First Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nanjing Chest Hospital, Nanjing 210029, China;



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly vascular tumor that expresses vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Various studies have evaluated the prognostic value of VEGF levels in HCC, but yielded conflicting results.


Electronic databases updated to June 2013 were searched to find relevant studies. A meta-analysis was conducted with eligible studies which quantitatively evaluated the relationship between serum VEGF level and survival of patients with HCC. Survival data were aggregated and quantitatively analyzed.


We performed a meta-analysis of 11 studies that evaluated the correlation between serum VEGF level and survival in patients with HCC. Combined hazard ratios suggested that serum VEGF level had an unfavorable impact on overall survival (OS) [hazard ratio (HR) =1.88, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.46-2.30], and disease free survival (DFS) (HR=2.27, 95% CI: 1.55-2.98) in patients with HCC. No significant heterogeneity was observed among all studies.


Serum high VEGF level indicates a poor prognosis for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); meta-analysis; prognosis

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