Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin and false-positive results for alcohol abuse in primary biliary cirrhosis: Differential diagnosis by detection of mitochondrial autoantibodies

Pamela Bean, Mary Susan Sutphin, Yun Shan Liu, Raymond Anton, Telfer B. Reynolds, Yehuda Shoenfeld, James B. Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is one of the few nonalcohol-induced liver pathologies that causes false positives in assays of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) for diagnosing alcohol abuse. CDT was quantified by isoelectric focusing-immunoblotting-laser densitometry (IEF-IB-LD) analysis of serum from 117 women: 57 PBC patients, 20 alcohol abusers, and 40 healthy donors. Only 5% (3 of 57) of PBC patients were positive at the densitometric cutoff value chosen (>90% specificity). Serum samples from 15 PBC patients were further evaluated by IEF-IB-LD and CDTect® chromatography-RIA. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that IEF-IB-LD better discriminated between PBC and alcohol abuse than CDTect did. By ROC analysis, mitochondrial autoantibodies to pyruvate dehydrogenase antigen M2 detected by enzyme immunoassay yielded optimal test performance for diagnosing PBC. Of six patients falsely positive for CDT by CDTect, five (83%) tested M2- positive. Thus, abnormal CDT results should be further evaluated by mitochondrial antibody testing in patients with findings compatible with PBC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-861
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Chemistry
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • immunoblot
  • isoelectric focusing
  • laser densitometry
  • liver disease

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