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J Proteome Res. 2009 Feb;8(2):463-70. doi: 10.1021/pr800656e.

Serum protein N-glycans profiling for the discovery of potential biomarkers for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

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Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB, Ghent, Belgium.


The hepatic histology in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can vary from isolated hepatic steatosis to steatohepatitis can progress to cirrhosis and liver-related death. The aim was to evaluate the use of blood serum N-glycan fingerprinting as a tool for differential diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis from steatosis. A group of 47 patients with NAFLD was diagnosed by clinical laboratory analysis and ultrasonography, and was studied histologically using the Brunt's scoring system. The control group included 13 healthy individuals. N-glycan profiles of serum proteins were determined by DNA sequencer-based carbohydrate analytical profiling. We have found that the concentrations of two glycans (NGA2F and NA2) and their logarithm ratio of NGA2F versus NA2 (named GlycoNashTest) were associated with the degree of NASH-related fibrosis, but had no correlation with the grade of inflammation nor steatosis severity. When used to screen NAFLD patients, GlycoNashTest could identify advanced NASH-related fibrosis (F3-F4) with the diagnosis sensitivity of 89.5% and specificity of 71.4%. The serum N-glycan profile is a promising noninvasive method for detecting NASH or NASH-related fibrosis in NAFLD patients, which could be a valuable supplement to other markers currently used in diagnosis of NASH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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