Diagnostic utility of clinical and biochemical parameters in pancreatic head malignancy patients with normal carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels
Background: Carbohydrate antigen (CA)19-9 that is the most widely used biomarker for pancreatic cancer has certain limitations in diagnosis, which results in a tough job to distinguish pancreatic cancer from benign tumors with normal CA19-9. The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic utility of clinical parameters and serum markers in patients with pancreatic head masses but without elevated CA19-9.
Methods: Retrospectively, 106 (69 malignant, 37 benign) of 487 patients admitted for pancreatic head masses were enrolled with CA19-9 level of <37u/ml. Clinical parameters and serum biomarkers were assessed. Among the patients with pancreatic head mass, male individuals (p=0.025) and elder individuals (p<0.001) were more likely to have cancer; and cancer patients were more likely to present with abdominal-pain (p=0.023), weight-loss (p=0.013) and jaundice (p<0.001). Serum bilirubin levels among malignancies, including total bilirubin (p<0.001), direct bilirubin (p<0.001) and indirect bilirubin (p<0.001), were considerably higher than those of benign ones. Logistic regression further concluded that age-distribution, abdominal-pain and direct-bilirubin were three independent factors correlating with final diagnosis. However, CEA (p=0.156) was not sufficient enough to exclude pancreatic cancer.
Conclusions: In patients with pancreatic head masses and CA19-9 of <37u/ml, age-distribution, abdominal-pain and direct bilirubin might be helpful in differential diagnosis. CEA was insufficient for exclusion of malignancy.
Key words: pancreatic head malignancy, diagnosis, clinical parameter, biomarker
While African Health Sciences has been freely accessible online there have been questions on whether it is Open Access or not. We wish to clearly state that indeed African Health Sciences is Open Access. There are key issues regarding Open Access needing clarification for avoidance of doubt:
- 1. Henceforth, papers in African Health Sciences will be published under the CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on https://creativecomons.org/)
- 2. The copyright owners or the authors grant the 3rd party (perpetually and in advance) the right to disseminate, reproduce, or use the research papers in part or in full, format/medium as long as:
- No substantive errors are introduced in the process
- Attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given
- The referencing details are not changed.
Should the papers be reproduced in part, this must be clearly stated.
- 3. The papers will be freely and universally accessible online in an easily readable format such as XML in at least one widely recognized open access repository such as PUBMED CENTRAL.
B. ABRIDGED LICENCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS AND African Health Sciences
I submitted my manuscript to African Health Sciences and would like to affirm that:
1.0 I am authorized by my co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
2.0 I guarantee, on behalf of self and co-authors:
- That the paper is original, and has not been published in any other peer-reviewed journal; nor is it under consideration by other journal (s). It does not infringe existing copyright or any other person’s rights
- That we are/I am the sole author(s) of the paper and with authority to enter into this agreement. My granting rights to African Health Sciences is not in breach of any other obligation
- That the paper contains nothing unlawful, or libelous. Nor anything that would constitute a breach of contract, confidence or commitment given to secrecy, if published
- That I/we have taken care to ensure the integrity of the article.