MicroRNA-223 in gastrointestinal cancers: A systematic review and diagnostic meta-analysis

Eur J Clin Invest. 2021 Feb;51(2):e13448. doi: 10.1111/eci.13448. Epub 2020 Dec 5.


Background: Several studies have been conducted on the diagnostic role of miR-223 in cancers related to the digestive system. However, the diagnostic role of this microRNA in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers has not been fully elucidated. This meta-analysis aimed to accurately assess the diagnostic role of circulating miR-223 in GI cancers.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed/Medline, Science Direct, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Embase and Scopus, up to 1st May 2020 databases. Twelve studies were eligible and included in the analysis. Meta-Disc software was used to calculate the pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, diagnostic odds ratio, area under the curve (AUC) and the summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) based on true positive, true negative, false negative and false positive for each gastrointestinal cancer separately and in total.

Results: Twelve case-control studies were included with 1859 participants (1080 cases and 779 controls). Pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio were 0.77 (95% CI: 0.74-0.79), 0.75 (95% CI: 0.72-0.78), 3.04 (95% CI: 2.20-4.18), 0.31 (95% CI: 0.22-0.42) and 10.77 (95% CI: 5.96-19.47), respectively. AUC was 0.83, suggesting a high-grade diagnostic precision of miR-223 in gastrointestinal cancers. Besides, subgroup analyses were performed to assess the diagnostic power of miR-223 based on the type of gastrointestinal cancer, sample type and country via calculating pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio.

Conclusion: Our meta-analysis showed the value of circulating miR-223 levels in the early diagnosis of diverse digestive system carcinomas.

Keywords: carcinoma; gastrointestinal tract; meta-analysis; microRNA-223; non-coding RNA.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Area Under Curve
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / blood
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma / blood
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stomach Neoplasms / blood
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis


  • MIRN223 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenocarcinoid tumor