Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Altered blood BDNF levels have been frequently identified in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). There are however wide discrepancies in the evidence. Therefore, we performed the present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at qualitative and quantitative synthesis of studies that measured blood BDNF levels in ASD and control subjects. Observational studies were identified through electronic database searching and also hand-searching of reference lists of relevant articles. A total of 183 papers were initially identified for review and eventually twenty studies were included in the meta-analysis. A meta-analysis of blood BDNF in 887 patients with ASD and 901 control subjects demonstrated significantly higher BDNF levels in ASD compared to controls with the SMD of 0.47 (95% CI 0.07–0.86, p = 0.02). In addition subgroup meta-analyses were performed based on the BDNF specimen. The present meta-analysis study led to conclusion that BDNF might play role in autism initiation/ propagation and therefore it can be considered as a possible biomarker of ASD.