Limited Diagnostic Value of microRNAs for Detecting Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-analysis

  • Zhou, Xuan-Jun (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University) ;
  • Dong, Zhao-Gang (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University) ;
  • Yang, Yong-Mei (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University) ;
  • Du, Lu-Tao (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University) ;
  • Zhang, Xin (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University) ;
  • Wang, Chuan-Xin (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University)
  • Published : 2013.08.30


Background: MicroRNAs have been demonstrated to play important roles in the development and progression of colorectal cancer. Several studies utilizing microRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC) have been reported. The aim of this meta-analysis was to comprehensively and quantitatively summarize the diagnostic value of microRNAs for detecting colorectal cancer. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library for published studies that used microRNAs as biomarkers for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Summary estimates for sensitivity, specificity and other measures of accuracy of microRNAs in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer were calculated using the bivariate random effects model. A summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve was also generated to summarize the overall effectiveness of the test. Result: Thirteen studies from twelve published articles met the inclusion criteria and were included. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odd ratio of microRNAs for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer were 0.81 (95%CI: 0.79-0.84), 0.78 (95%CI: 0.75-0.82), 4.14 (95%CI: 2.90-5.92), 0.24 (95%CI: 0.19-0.30), and 19.2 (95%CI: 11.7-31.5), respectively. The area under the SROC curve was 0.89. Conclusions: The current evidence suggests that the microRNAs test might not be used alone as a screening tool for CRC. Combining microRNAs testing with other conventional tests such as FOBT may improve the diagnostic accuracy for detecting CRC.


Colorectal cancer;microRNAs;diagnostic;meta-analysis


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