Interest of Chromogranin A for diagnosis and follow-up of endocrine tumours

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SummaryOBJECTIVETo determine the interest of Chromogranin A (CgA) determination for diagnosis and follow-up in patients with gastroenteropancreatic endocrine tumours (GEP-ET) and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1).PATIENTS AND METHODSCgA levels were measured with an immunoradiometric assay in 124 sporadic GEP-ET, 34 MEN-1 and 127 controls. Serial determinations were performed in 56 patients (212 visits). Changes in CgA levels over 25% were considered as significant.RESULTSUsing a cut-off value of 130 μg/l, established from a receiver-operating characteristic curve, the specificity of CgA was 98.4%, with a sensitivity of 62.9%, higher in secreting than in nonsecreting tumours (73%vs. 45%; P < 0.003) and related to the extent of metastatic spreading (P < 0.001). In nonsecreting tumours, the positive predictive value (PPV) of CgA for the presence of metastases was 100% but the negative predictive value (NPV) was only 50%. In MEN-1, high CgA levels indicated a pancreatic tumour with a 100% specificity but the sensitivity was 59%. During the follow-up, the concordance between CgA and tumour evolution was 80%, whatever the secretory status. In patients with carcinoid tumours, the concordance was higher for CgA than for serotonin (81%vs. 54%; P < 0.001).CONCLUSIONDue to its high specificity, CgA determination may help to discriminate the endocrine character of a GEP tumour and to indicate a pancreatic tumour in MEN-1. However, its low NPV in nonsecreting tumours limits its interest for diagnosis and staging. By contrast, serial evaluation of CgA seems of particular interest for the follow-up of GEP-ET tumours.

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