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Nat Med. 2004 Apr;10(4):429-34.

Noninvasive diagnosis of liver cirrhosis using DNA sequencer-based total serum protein glycomics.

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  • 1Fundamental and Applied Molecular Biology, Department of Molecular Biomedical Research, Ghent University and VIB, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium. natmedcontact@dmbr.Ugent.be

Abstract

We applied our 'clinical glycomics' technology, based on DNA sequencer/fragment analyzers, to generate profiles of serum protein N-glycans of liver disease patients. This technology yielded a biomarker that distinguished compensated cirrhotic from noncirrhotic chronic liver disease patients, with 79% sensitivity and 86% specificity (100% sensitivity and specificity for decompensated cirrhosis). In combination with the clinical chemistry-based Fibrotest biomarker, compensated cirrhosis was detected with 100% specificity and 75% sensitivity. The current 'gold standard' for liver cirrhosis detection is an invasive, costly, often painful liver biopsy. Consequently, the highly specific set of biomarkers presented could obviate biopsy in many cirrhosis patients. This biomarker combination could eventually be used in follow-up examinations of chronic liver disease patients, to yield a warning that cirrhosis has developed and that the risk of complications (such as hepatocellular carcinoma) has increased considerably. Our clinical glycomics technique can easily be implemented in existing molecular diagnostics laboratories.

PMID:
15152612
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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