Pro-cathepsin D as a diagnostic marker in differentiating malignant from benign pleural effusion: A retrospective cohort study
Background: Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) causes substantial symptomatic burden in advanced malignancy. Although pleural fluid cytology is a commonly accepted gold standard of diagnosis, its low diagnostic yield is a challenge for clinicians. The aim of this study was to determine whether pro-cathepsin D can serve as a novel biomarker to discriminate between MPE and benign pleural effusion (BPE).Methods: This study included 81 consecutive patients with exudative pleural effusions who had
... fusions who had underwent thoracentesis or pleural biopsy. Pleural fluid and serum were collected as a standard procedure for all individuals at the same time. The level of pro-cathepsin D was measured by the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method.Results: Though there were no significant differences in plasma pro-cathepsin D between the two groups, the level of pleural fluid pro-cathepsin D was significantly higher in the MPE group than the BPE group (0.651 versus 0.590 pg/mL, P = 0.034). The discriminative power of pleural fluid pro-cathepsin D for diagnosing MPE was moderate, with 81% sensitivity and 53% specificity at a pro-cathepsin D cut-off ≥0.596 pg/mL (area under the curve: 0.656). Positive and negative predictive values for MPE were 38% and 89%, respectively, with pro-cathepsin D cut-off value (>0.596 pg/mL).Conclusions: The level of pleural fluid pro-cathepsin D was found to be significantly higher in MPE than in BPE. Although results of this study could not support the sole use of pleural fluid pro-cathepsin D to diagnose MPE, pleural fluid pro-cathepsin D can be added to pre-existing diagnostic methods for ruling-in or ruling-out MPE.