Homocysteine: new tumor marker in pleural fluid
There are no published studies examining the utility of total homocysteine (HCY) in pleural fluid. The aim was to measure the accuracy of pleural fluid HCY concentration for diagnosis of malignant pleural effusion (MPE). We studied pleural fluids obtained by thoracocentesis in patients with pleural effusion. Pleural fluid HCY concentration was measured by immunonephelometry using N Latex HCY reagent with monoclonal antibody in automated analyzers BNII (Siemens Diagnostics®). Patients were classified into two groups according to the etiology of pleural effusion: benign pleural effusions (BPE) and MPE. Pleural effusion was categorized as MPE if malignant cells were demonstrated in pleural fluid or pleural biopsy. The accuracy of pleural fluid HCY concentration for diagnosis of MPE was determined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) techniques by analyzing the area under the ROC curve (AUC). We studied 89 patients with ages between 1 and 96 years old (median = 66). Forty-eight patients were BPE and 41 were MPE. Pleural fluid HCY concentration was significantly higher in patients with MPE (median = 13.70 μmol/L) than in those with BPE (median = 8.05 μmol/L). The AUC value was 0.833 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.739–0.903). The optimal cutoff value was 13.1 μmol/L exhibiting 56.1 % (95 % CI 39.8–71.5) sensitivity and 85.4 % (95 % CI 72.2–93.9) specificity. Pleural fluid HCY concentration showed high diagnostic accuracy to predict whether a pleural effusion is benign or malignant. Pleural fluid HCY concentration may be measured easily and quickly in automated analyzers and could be a tumor marker commonly used for diagnosis of MPE.
KeywordsHomocysteine Pleural fluid Malignant pleural effusion Tumor marker Cancer
Conflicts of interest
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