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Association between quantitative parameters of CEUS and Sall4/Wnt/β-catenin signaling in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Wang J, Huang J, Ma Q, Liu G

Received 31 December 2018

Accepted for publication 25 February 2019

Published 17 April 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 3339—3347


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chien-Feng Li

Jianjun Wang,1 Jiaxin Huang,2 Qianfeng Ma,1 Guanghui Liu3

1Department of Ultrasonography, General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Ningxia, People’s Republic of China; 2The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 3Human Anatomy and Histoembryology, School of Physical Education, Wuhan Business University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

Objectives: In this study, we aim to investigate the correlations of quantitative parameters of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) and Spalt-Like Transcription Factor 4 (Sall4)/Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway with clinicopathological features and prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: The CEUS was performed to detect the liver function and the prognosis of patients. The expression of Sall4, WNT3a and β-catenin was evaluated using immunohistochemical staining. Sall4, WNT3a and β-catenin mRNA expression was measured by SYBR green qPCR assay.
Results: We found that the mRNA and protein expression of Sall4, WNT3a and β-catenin in the HCC tissues were significantly upregulated compared with the adjacent normal tissues. Upregulation of these proteins was associated with tumor differentiation, TNM stage, tumor size, vascular invasion and liver cirrhosis of HCC patients. In addition, we found that decreased time to peak and washout time and increased peak intensity and area under the curve of CEUS in the HCC were also correlated with TNM stage, tumor size and vascular invasion. Moreover, Sall4, WNT3a and β-catenin protein were significantly associated with the TTP, PI, AUC, and WOT.
Conclusion: This study suggests that quantitative parameters of CEUS and Sall4/Wnt/β-catenin signaling may be helpful for early diagnosis and prognosis prediction of HCC patients.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, Sall4, wnt signaling, contrast-enhanced ultrasonography, early diagnosis

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