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Exp Ther Med. 2010 Mar;1(2):313-317. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Soluble mesothelin-related protein in pleural effusion from patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama Rosai Hospital, Okayama 7028055, Japan.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive neoplasm primarily arising from surface serosal cells of the pleura and is strongly associated with asbestos exposure. Patients with MPM often develop pleural fluid as initial presentation. However, cytological diagnosis using pleural fluid is usually difficult and has limited utility. A useful molecular marker for differential diagnosis particularly with lung cancer (LC) is urgently needed. The aim of the present study was to investigate the diagnostic value of soluble mesothelin-related protein (SMRP) in pleural fluid. Pleural fluids were collected from 23 patients with MPM, 38 with LC, 26 with benign asbestos pleurisy (BAP), 5 with tuberculosis pleurisy (TP) and 4 with chronic heart failure (CHF), and the SMRP concentration was determined. All data were analyzed by using non-parametric two-sided statistical tests. The median concentration of SMRP in MPM, LC, BAP, TP and CHF were 11.5 (range 0.90-82.80), 5.20 (0.05-36.40), 6.65 (1.45-11.25), 3.20 (1.65-6.50) and 2.03 (1.35-2.80) nmol/l, respectively. The SMRP concentration was significantly higher in MPM than in the other diseases (P=0.001). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) values of the MPM diagnosis was 0.75 for the differential diagnosis from the other groups. Based on the cut-off value of 8 nmol/l, the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of MPM were 70.0 and 68.4%, respectively. These results indicate that the SMRP concentration in pleural fluid is a useful marker for the diagnosis of MPM.

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