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Glial tumors constitute the majority of primary intracranial brain tumors. The expression of specific markers of lymphangiogenesis in gliomas still remains unclear.A total of 40 surgical specimens from 20 patients with recurrent gliomas were included in the study. The expression of D2-40, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C, VEGF-D, and VEGF receptor-3 (VEGR-3) was detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The clinicopathologic data (p53 and Ki67) were also collected and analyzed.At relapse malignant transformation rate was 65% (13/20 cases). D2-40, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and VEGFR-3 were expressed in 20%, 30%, 60%, and 20% of primary and 45%, 30%, 75%, and 35% of recurrent glioma tumors (P < .01, P = 1.00, P = .03, P = .03). In 13 cases with increased malignancy grade, the expression of Ki67 and p53 were higher at relapse compared with the primary tumors (P = .001, P = .045). Multivariate survival analysis showed VEGF-D was an independent prognostic factor for malignant transformation (HR = 0.376, P = .045).Glioma is easy to relapse with tumor progression. VEGF-D was an independent prognostic factor for malignant transformation.