PURPOSE: Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) plays important roles in tumorigenesis such as proliferation, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and chemoresistance. We examined the expression of AEG-1 in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). METHODS: Eighty-five samples were collected from patients with HCC who underwent surgery and were histopathologically confirmed to have HCC. Two independent pathologists, experienced in evaluating immunohistochemistry and blinded to the clinical outcomes of the patients, reviewed all samples. They determined AEG-1 expression semiquantitatively by assessing the percentage of positively stained immunoreactive cells and staining intensity. Clinicopathological data were analyzed in association with prognosis. RESULTS: The association was estimated by univariate and multivariate analyses with Cox regression. Tumor size (hazard ratio [HR], 2.285; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.175-4.447; P = 0.015), microvascular invasion (HR, 6.754; 95% CI, 1.631-27.965; P = 0.008), and AEG-1 expression (HR, 4.756; 95% CI, 1.697-13.329; P = 0.003) were independent prognostic factors for overall survival. Those for disease-free survival rate were tumor size (HR, 2.245; 95% CI, 1.282-3.933; P = 0.005) and AEG-1 expression (HR, 1.916; 95% CI, 1.035-3.545; P = 0.038). The cumulative 5-year survival and recurrence rates were 89.2% and 50.0% in the low-expressing group and 24.5% and 82.4% in the high-expressing group, respectively. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that AEG-1 overexpression could serve as a valuable prognostic marker in patients with HCC.