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Endocr J. 1997 Oct;44(5):751-7.

Diagnostic validity of bone metabolic markers for bone metastasis.

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Department of Radiology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Japan.


We measured bone resorption markers in tumor patients with and without bone metastases and evaluated the diagnostic validity of these biochemical parameters in the diagnosis of neoplastic bone involvement. On the basis of radiography and bone scintigraphy findings, subjects were divided into 3 groups, 83 patients without bone metastases (META(-)), 22 patients with 1 or 2 bone metastases (META(+)) and 22 patients with more than 3 bone metastases (META(++)). Among the biochemical markers, urinary pyridinoline (PYR), circulating C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) and urinary N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) were especially sensitive and specific and increased significantly not only in META(++) but also even in META(+). The efficacy of several bone metabolic markers in differentiating between patients with and without bone metastases was evaluated by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, and PYR, ICTP and NTx were proved to have high diagnostic validity (area under the ROC curve; 0.75 for PYR, 0.77 for ICTP and 0.77 for NTx). Furthermore, their odds ratios showed significantly high values for both META(+) and META(++)(to META(++); 7.91 for PYR, 5.33 for ICTP and 5.70 for NTx). On the other hand, urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPYR) and serum total alkaline phosphatase (ALP) showed relatively low sensitivities, the odds ratio of ALP in particular being insignificant. In conclusion, several bone metabolic markers were proved to be useful in the diagnosis of bone metastases in patients with malignancies, particularly PYR, ICTP and NTx had rather high diagnostic validities among all markers examined in this study.

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