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Arch Med Sci. 2012 Nov 9;8(5):749-55. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2012.31609. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Diagnostic value of microRNA for pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis.

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West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China ; West China School of Medicine, Chengdu, China.



MicroRNAs have been reported to be aberrantly expressed in patients with pancreatic cancer. The aim of the present meta-analysis is to establish the overall diagnostic accuracy of the measurement of microRNA for diagnosing pancreatic cancer.


After a systematic review of English language studies from Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library, the sensitivity, specificity, and other measures of accuracy of microRNA in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer were pooled using random-effects models. The methodological quality of each study was assessed by QUADAS (quality assessment for studies of diagnostic accuracy). Statistical analysis was performed by employing Meta-Disc 1.4 software and STATA. Summary receiver operating characteristic curves were used to summarize overall test performance. Deeks' test was used to test the potential publication bias.


Nine studies from seven publications met our inclusion criteria. The summary estimates for microRNAs in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in these studies were pooled sensitivity 0.89 (95% CI: 0.86-0.91), specificity 0.93 (95% CI: 0.90-0.95), positive likelihood ratio 11.62 (95% CI: 5.75-23.50), negative likelihood ratio 0.14 (95% CI: 0.08-0.24), diagnostic odds ratio 115.13 (95% CI: 33.73-351.28), and the area under the curve was 0.97.


MicroRNA assay plays an important role in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The results of microRNA assays should be interpreted in parallel with clinical findings and the results of conventional tests.


accuracy; diagnosis; meta-analysis; microRNA; pancreatic cancer

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