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Disease Markers
Volume 2017, Article ID 1725354, 8 pages
Research Article

Plasma Fibulin-3 as a Potential Biomarker for Patients with Asbestos-Related Diseases in the Han Population

1Institute of Occupational Diseases, Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou 310013, China
2Department of Respiration Medicine, The Third People’s Hospital of Cixi, Ningbo 315324, China
3Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou 310014, China
4School of Medicine, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310016, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jianlin Lou; moc.361@uolnilnaij

Zhaoqiang Jiang and Shibo Ying contributed equally to this work.

Received 17 June 2017; Accepted 2 October 2017; Published 22 October 2017

Academic Editor: Lance A. Liotta

Copyright © 2017 Zhaoqiang Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fibulin-3 has been reported as a potential biomarker for mesothelioma. However, little is known about the diagnostic efficacies of fibulin-3 for asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) in China. This study was to investigate the utility of fibulin-3 for asbestos exposure and ARDs. A total of 430 subjects were recruited from Southeast China, including healthy individuals, asbestos-exposed (AE) individuals, and patients with pleural plaques (PP), asbestosis, and malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Plasma fibulin-3 was measured using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Linear regression analyses were applied to explore the influencing factors of fibulin-3. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine the cutoff values. The median fibulin-3 level of subjects in the mesothelioma group was higher than that in other groups. Subjects in the asbestosis group had higher median fibulin-3 level than those in the control group. A higher fibulin-3 level was found in the group with ≥10 years of asbestos exposure as compared with control groups. The AUCs of fibulin-3 for distinguishing MPM subjects from control, AE, PP, and asbestosis subjects were 0.92, 0.88, 0.90, and 0.81, respectively. Our study provided evidence that fibulin-3 could be a potential biomarker for the early screening of MPM, but not of other nonmalignant ARDs in Chinese populations.