The aim of this multicenter study was to evaluate the clinical relevance of serum vascular endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D) in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). This prospective study consisted of 74 patients with primary PTC and 15 patients with benign thyroid nodules treated from 2008 to 2009. VEGF-D concentration was compared with patient clinicopathologic features and lymph node metastases. There was no significant difference in mean serum VEGF-D levels between the PTC and benign thyroid nodule groups. Within the PTC group, serum VEGF-D levels were significantly higher in patients with lymph node metastases than in patients without metastases (241.92 vs. 213.89 pg/ml, respectively; P = 0.035). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that preoperative serum VEGF-D levels were predictive of lymph node metastases in the patients >45 years. Serum VEGF-D level that was correlated with the presence of cervical lymph node metastases in PTC patients might be a useful prognostic indicator.
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