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Prognostic value of plasma fibrinogen in hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis

Authors Huang G, Jiang H, Lin Y, Wu Y, Cai W, Shi B, Luo Y, Jian Z, Zhou X

Received 30 May 2018

Accepted for publication 26 July 2018

Published 29 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 5027—5041


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Beicheng Sun

Guanqun Huang,1,* Hui Jiang,2,* Ye Lin,3 Yanpeng Wu,1 Weilong Cai,1 Boyun Shi,2 Yuanwei Luo,1 Zhixiang Jian,3 Xinke Zhou2

1Department of General Surgery, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510700, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Abdominal Oncology, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510700, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of General Surgery, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Elevated plasma fibrinogen levels have been associated with tumor progression in several malignancies. Our study aims to characterize the clinical significance of elevated plasma fibrinogen levels in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Materials and methods: Relevant published articles were systematically searched in electronic databases including PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science. The pooled differences in plasma fibrinogen levels among HCC, cirrhotic, and control groups were expressed as weighted mean differences (WMDs) and their corresponding 95% CIs. The associations between elevated fibrinogen and overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS)/recurrence-free survival (RFS) were expressed as HRs and their 95% CIs, whereas the associations between elevated fibrinogen and various types of clinical characteristic of patients with HCC were expressed as ORs and their corresponding 95% CIs.
Results: Results showed that the plasma fibrinogen levels in patients with HCC were not significantly different than that in healthy controls (WMD = 0.50, 95% CI = [–0.82, 1.82], P = 0.457) or patients with cirrhosis (WMD = −0.62, 95% CI = [–1.56, 0.33], P = 0.200). However, our results showed that compared to those with normal levels, patients with HCC and elevated plasma fibrinogen levels showed poorer OS (HR = 2.08, 95% CI = [1.67, 2.59], P < 0.0001) and DFS/RFS (HR = 1.90, 95% CI = [1.52, 2.37], P < 0.0001). Results of trial sequential analysis of the OS indicated that currently available studies were sufficient to validate the negative prognostic value of elevated plasma fibrinogen in patients with HCC. Clinicopathological analyses showed that high plasma fibrinogen levels were associated with tumor progression as indicated by advanced tumor stage, larger tumor size, increased tumor number, and the presence of vascular invasion.
Conclusion: Elevated plasma fibrinogen levels are associated with poor prognosis and advanced tumor progression. Plasma fibrinogen may serve as a negative prognostic biomarker in patients with HCC.

hepatocellular carcinoma, fibrinogen, prognosis, tumor progression, meta-analysis

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