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HPB Surgery
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 397375, 6 pages
Research Article

Soluble E-Cadherin: An Early Marker of Severity in Acute Pancreatitis

1HPB Surgical Unit, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN, UK
2Department of Surgery, The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK

Received 1 December 2008; Accepted 18 February 2009

Academic Editor: Attila Olah

Copyright © 2009 A. Sewpaul 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/Aims. At present, there is no simple test for predicting severity in acute pancreatitis. We investigated the use of an assay of soluble E-cadherin (sE-cadherin). Methods. Concentrations of sE-cadherin, from 19 patients with mild acute pancreatitis, 7 patients with severe acute pancreatitis, 11 patients with other acute gastrointestinal pathologies, and 12 healthy subjects were measured using a commercially available sandwich ELISA kit based on two monoclonal antibodies specific to the extracellular fragment of human E-cadherin. Measurements were made at 12 hours or less from onset of pain and also at 24 and 48 hours after onset of pain. Results. Mean (standard deviation) concentration of sE-cadherin in patients with severe acute pancreatitis at < 12 hours was 17780 ng/mL (7853), significantly higher than that of healthy volunteers 5180 ng/mL (1350), 𝑃 = . 0 0 3 9 , patients with other gastrointestinal pathologies 7358 ng/mL (6655), 𝑃 = . 0 0 7 3 , and also significantly higher than that of patients with mild pancreatitis, 7332 ng/mL (2843), 𝑃 = . 0 0 1 9 . Discussion. Serum sE-cadherin could be an early (within 12 hours) objective marker of severity in acute pancreatitis. This molecule warrants further investigation in the form of a large multicentre trial.