AIM: To determine the efficacy of Mac-2 binding protein (Mac-2bp) for diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. METHODS: Fifty-nine healthy volunteers (HV), 162 patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP), and 94 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) were enrolled in this study. We measured serum Mac-2bp using our developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Additional biochemical variables were measured using an automated analyzer (including aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase, triglyceride, C-reactive protein, and amylase levels) or chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay (carbohydrate antigen 19-9 and carcinoembryonic antigen). The ability of Mac-2bp to predict CP diagnosis accurately was assessed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses. RESULTS: Serum Mac-2bp levels were significantly increased in CP patients compared to HV (P < 0.0001) and PDAC patients (P < 0.0001). Area under the ROC curve values of Mac-2bp for the discrimination of CP from HV and PDAC were 0.727 and 0.784, respectively. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that serum Mac-2bp levels were independent determinants for CP diagnosis from HV and PDAC patients. Immunohistological staining showed that Mac-2bp was expressed faintly in the pancreas tissues of both CP and PDAC patients. Serum aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and triglyceride levels were significantly higher in patients with CP or PDAC. Serum Mac-2bp levels were highly correlated with protein levels of alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and C-reactive protein, but not amylase, suggesting that the damaged liver produces Mac-2bp. CONCLUSION: Measurement of serum Mac-2bp may be a novel and useful biomarker for CP diagnosis as well as liver fibrosis in the general population.
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