Usefulness of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin and trypsin activity in the diagnosis of acute alcoholic pancreatitis

G. Abuksis, N. Segal, I. Shemesh, I. Morad, S. Plaut, E. Weiss, J. Sulkes, G. Fraser, Y. Niv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess if carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) and trypsin activity differentiate acute alcoholic pancreatitis from nonalcohol-related pancreatitis, and as a secondary goal to evaluate its use in comparison to healthy controls. METHODS: Serum levels of CDT and trypsin activity were measured in frozen sera from 70 nonconsecutive patients with acute pancreatitis and in 16 healthy controls. RESULTS: Causes of pancreatitis were gallstones in 51%, chronic alcoholism in 23%, and other or unknown causes in 26% of the patients. Serum CDT was significantly higher in alcoholic pancreatitis than in the nonalcoholic disease (p < 0.0001) with a median (interquartile range) of 30.8 U/L (23.6-41.7 U/L) in chronic alcoholism, 16.7 U/L (13.05-21.1 U/L) in gallstones, 17.5 U/L (15.9-21.6 U/L) in unknown cause, 19.3 U/L (15.1-27.7 U/L) in other etiologies, and 16.1 U/L (12.1-18.8 U/L) in controls. At a cutoff over 22.5 U/L, CDT showed a sensitivity of 87.5% and a specificity of 85.2%. Serum levels of trypsin activity were significantly higher (p = 0.0007) in alcoholic pancreatitis, median 165 U/L (76-405 U/L) than in nonalcoholic pancreatitis, median 73 U/L (46.5-100.5 U/L). At a cutoff value over 152 U/L, the sensitivity of trypsin activity was 60% with a specificity of 100%. In the multivariate analysis, patient's age (≤44 yr), CDT (>22.5 U/L), and trypsin activity (>152 U/L) enabled correct prediction of acute alcoholic pancreatitis in 98% of the cases. CONCLUSION: Serum CDT and trypsin activity are of clinical utility in differentiating alcoholic from nonalcoholic acute pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1781
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume96
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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