Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 462856, 8 pages
Research Article

Duodenal Chromogranin A Cell Density as a Biomarker for the Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

1Section for Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Stord Hospital, P.O. Box 4000, 54 09 Stord, Norway
2Section for Gastroenterology, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, 5021 Bergen, Norway
3National Centre for Ultrasound in Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway
4Department of Research, Helse-Fonna, 5528 Haugesund, Norway

Received 7 February 2014; Accepted 3 May 2014; Published 16 June 2014

Academic Editor: Andrew Thillainayagam

Copyright © 2014 Magdy El-Salhy 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.


Background and Aim. Chromogranin A (CgA) is a common marker for endocrine cells. The density of duodenal CgA cells is reduced in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Methods. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the density of duodenal CgA as a biomarker for the diagnosis of IBS. Two hundred and three patients with IBS were recruited (180 females and 23 males; mean age, 36 years; range, 18–66 years). The control group comprised 86 healthy subjects without gastrointestinal complaints (77 females and 9 males; mean age, 38 years; range, 18–67 years). Biopsy samples were taken from the duodenum during gastroscopy. Sections from these biopsy samples were immunostained for CgA using the avidin-biotin complex (ABC) method. CgA cell density was quantified by computerized image analysis. Results. The CgA cell density was lower in IBS-total and in all of the IBS subgroups than in the controls. The sensitivity and specificity for a cutoff of <200 cells/mm2 were 86% and 95%, respectively. Conclusion. The duodenal CgA cell density seems to be a good biomarker for the diagnosis of IBS. It is an inexpensive, simple, and easy-to-use method that does not require sophisticated equipment or considerable experience.