Value of Early Check-Up of Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 Levels for Pancreatic Cancer Screening in Asymptomatic New-Onset Diabetic Patients

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We evaluated the value of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) as a pancreatic cancer (PC) screening tool in an asymptomatic new-onset diabetic patients.


Medical records of asymptomatic patients newly diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM) were reviewed retrospectively at our hospital from January 2004 to January 2013.


In total, 2363 asymptomatic diabetic patients with CA 19-9 measurements were enrolled. Of them, 68 (2.9%) were diagnosed with PC. In the 1719 patients who had CA 19-9 measured within 1 year after the DM diagnosis, a total of 51 (3.0 %) patients developed PC and the odds ratio (OR) of PC according to higher CA 19-9 than normal upper limit, 37 IU/mL was 5.57 (P < 0.001). In 248 patients checked CA 19-9 between 1 and 2 years after DM diagnosis, PC was detected in 9 (3.6%) cases and OR of high CA 19-9 was 4.51 (P = 0.019). However, beyond 2 years, the OR for PC showed no statistical significance. The patients with high CA 19-9 levels tended to have more advanced-stage disease.


Early check-up of CA 19-9 could be a useful marker for screening for PC in asymptomatic patients with new-onset DM in the first 2 years.

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