Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Medical sciences = Hua zhong ke ji da xue xue bao. Yi xue Ying De wen ban = Huazhong keji daxue xuebao. Yixue Yingdewen ban 2017 10 2037(5) 661-666 doi 10.1007/s11596-017-1786-9
The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between the protein expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and lymph node metastasis (LNM) in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). VEGF-related articles that had been published until August 2016 were searched from the PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE to identify the risk factors of LNM in PTC. RevMan 5.3 software was used for the meta-analysis. Finally, 9 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in our meta-analysis. LNM was found to be present in 176 of 318 patients (57.8%) with high VEGF expression and in 71 of 159 patients (47.0%) with low VEGF expression. The overall OR was 2.81 (95% confidence interval, 1.49-5.29). LNM occurred more frequently in patients with high VEGF expression than in those with low VEGF expression (P=0.001). Heterogeneity was markedly decreased in the subgroup analyses of LNM in terms of the patients’ country of origin and the detection methods. Our meta- analysis concluded that the VEGF protein expression is associated with LNM in PTC.