Highly Sensitive Circulating MicroRNA Panel for Accurate Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients With Liver Disease

Yusuke Yamamoto, Shunsuke Kondo, Juntaro Matsuzaki, Minoru Esaki, Takuji Okusaka, Kazuaki Shimada, Yoshiki Murakami, Masaru Enomoto, Akihiro Tamori, Ken Kato, Yoshiaki Aoki, Satoko Takizawa, Hiromi Sakamoto, Shumpei Niida, Fumitaka Takeshita, Takahiro Ochiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The high mortality rate in HCC is largely due to the difficulty of early detection. In this study, to improve patient outcomes, serum samples from 345 patients with HCC, 46 patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), 93 patients with liver cirrhosis (LC), and 1,033 healthy individuals were analyzed with microRNA (miRNA) microarrays. We investigated the diagnostic potential of circulating miRNAs in serum and developed a detection model of HCC, including early stage. A diagnostic model was constructed based on the expression levels of a combination of miRNAs in a discovery set. We selected 52 miRNAs that had altered expressions according to disease progression status, established the diagnostic model with a combination of eight miRNAs in the discovery set, and tested the model in a validation set. The diagnostic values for discriminating cancer from HCC at-risk control samples were as follows: area under the curve, 0.99; sensitivity, 97.7%; specificity, 94.7%. With this model, 98% of stage I HCC cases were detected; these results were much better than those observed from conventional methods. Conclusion: Circulating miRNAs could serve as biomarkers for the accurate detection of HCC. Because the diagnostic accuracy was maintained even in stage I, this may represent an accurate detection method even for early stage HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-297
Number of pages14
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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