AIM: The utility of serum alpha-fetoprotein (α-FP) in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is questionable. Very high circulating levels of nociceptin/ orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), a ligand for a novel opioid receptor, have recently been reported in HCC. The aim of this study was to assess the role of plasma N/OFQ in the diagnosis of HCC arising in patients with liver cirrhosis. METHODS: Plasma N/OFQ levels were measured by ELISA in 58 patients (28 HCC and 30 liver cirrhosis) and in 25 healthy controls. The values were correlated with clinical and laboratory features including α-FP. Spearman index, biserial correlation coefficient, non parametric combination (NPC) test and discriminant stepwise analysis were used for statistical evaluation of data. RESULTS: The upper normal limit of nociceptin was 122 pg/mL. Plasma levels above this cut-off were found in 21.4% of patients with HCC, in 23.3% of those with cirrhosis and in 8% of healthy subjects. α-FP serum levels > 200 ng/mL were found in 46.4% of the patients with HCC and in none of those with cirrhosis. No correlation was found between N/OFQ levels and any of the clinical and laboratory features, including α-FP. By NPC test, HCC and cirrhotic patients were different with regard to α-FP (P = 0.000) but not in terms of nociceptin (P = 0.595). By point biserial correlation, HCC presence was positively correlated with α-FP (rpb = 0.52, P = 0.000) but not with N/OFQ (rpb = 0.16, P = 0.157). In a discriminant analysis, α-FP was signifi cant in the Wilks test (Y = -0.709 + 0.03 α-FP) and properly classified 81% of all patients and 61% of HCC. N/OFQ had lower sensitivity, specifi city and predictive values than α-FP. CONCLUSION: Nociceptin is increased in patients with chronic liver disease, independently of the presence of HCC, although the underlying mechanism has yet to be clarifi ed. We conclude it is not a useful marker for HCC.

Low utility of plasma Nociceptin/orphanin FQ in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma

SPADARO, Aldo;AJELLO, Antonino;MORACE, Carmela;RESTA, Maria Letizia;BERLINGHIERI, Grazia;CAMPO, Salvatore Giuseppe;SCISCA, Claudio;ALIBRANDI, Angela;D'ARRIGO, GRAZIELLA;FERRAU', Oscar;FRENI, Maria Ant.Tta
2006

Abstract

AIM: The utility of serum alpha-fetoprotein (α-FP) in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is questionable. Very high circulating levels of nociceptin/ orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), a ligand for a novel opioid receptor, have recently been reported in HCC. The aim of this study was to assess the role of plasma N/OFQ in the diagnosis of HCC arising in patients with liver cirrhosis. METHODS: Plasma N/OFQ levels were measured by ELISA in 58 patients (28 HCC and 30 liver cirrhosis) and in 25 healthy controls. The values were correlated with clinical and laboratory features including α-FP. Spearman index, biserial correlation coefficient, non parametric combination (NPC) test and discriminant stepwise analysis were used for statistical evaluation of data. RESULTS: The upper normal limit of nociceptin was 122 pg/mL. Plasma levels above this cut-off were found in 21.4% of patients with HCC, in 23.3% of those with cirrhosis and in 8% of healthy subjects. α-FP serum levels > 200 ng/mL were found in 46.4% of the patients with HCC and in none of those with cirrhosis. No correlation was found between N/OFQ levels and any of the clinical and laboratory features, including α-FP. By NPC test, HCC and cirrhotic patients were different with regard to α-FP (P = 0.000) but not in terms of nociceptin (P = 0.595). By point biserial correlation, HCC presence was positively correlated with α-FP (rpb = 0.52, P = 0.000) but not with N/OFQ (rpb = 0.16, P = 0.157). In a discriminant analysis, α-FP was signifi cant in the Wilks test (Y = -0.709 + 0.03 α-FP) and properly classified 81% of all patients and 61% of HCC. N/OFQ had lower sensitivity, specifi city and predictive values than α-FP. CONCLUSION: Nociceptin is increased in patients with chronic liver disease, independently of the presence of HCC, although the underlying mechanism has yet to be clarifi ed. We conclude it is not a useful marker for HCC.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/1891836
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