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Tech Coloproctol. 2017 Sep;21(9):693-699. doi: 10.1007/s10151-017-1690-0. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

Is it time for one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA) in colorectal cancer? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Departments of Colorectal Surgery, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Warwick, UK.
Departments of Colorectal Surgery, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Warwick, UK.
Departments of Histopathology, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Warwick, UK.
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.



Lymph node metastasis (LNM) is prognostic in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, evaluation by routine haematoxylin and eosin histology (HE) limits nodal examination and is subjective. Missed LNMs from tissue allocation bias (TAB) might under-stage disease, leading to under-treatment. One-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA) for CK19 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), a marker of LNM, analyses the whole node. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess recent studies on OSNA versus HE and its implications for CRC staging and treatment.


Databases including OVID, Medline and Google Scholar were searched for OSNA, LNM and CRC. Study results were pooled using a random-effects model. Summary receiver operator curves (SROC) assessed OSNA's performance in detecting LNM when compared to routine HE histology.


Five case-control studies analysing 4080 nodes from 622 patients were included. The summary estimates of pooled results for OSNA were sensitivity 0.90 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.86-0.93], specificity 0.94 (95% CI 0.93-0.95) and diagnostic odds ratio 179.5 (CI 58.35-552.2, p < 0.0001). The SROC curve indicated a maximum joint sensitivity and specificity of 0.88 and area under the curve of 0.94, p < 0.0001. On average, 5.4% HE-negative nodes were upstaged by OSNA.


OSNA is as good as routine HE. It may avoid TAB and offer a more objective and standardised assay of LNM. However, for upstaging, its usefulness as an adjunct to HE or superiority to HE requires further assessment of the benefits, if any, of adjuvant therapy in patients upstaged by OSNA.


Colorectal cancer; Lymph node metastasis; OSNA; One-step nucleic acid amplification; Prognosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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