The diagnostic accuracy of biomarkers for diagnosis of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in anti-mitochondrial antibody (AMA)-negative PBC patients: a review of literature

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Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), also known as primary biliary cirrhosis, is an autoimmune disease of the liver characterized by anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA) in 90%-95% of patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of several serum biomarkers in patients with PBC but negative for AMA. Some antinuclear antibodies (ANA) pattern, detected by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF), such as multiple nuclear dot (MND) and rim-like patterns are well-known to be specific for PBC. The corresponding nuclear antigens are the components of the nuclear pore complex (Gp210 for rim-like pattern) and Sp100, PML proteins (for MND pattern) detectable by immunoblotting and ELISA methods. More recently, new biomarkers have been evaluated in order to improve the diagnostic sensitivity, such as kelch-like 12 (KLHL12) and hexokinase-1. Considering these different serum biomarkers, studies evaluating their diagnostic role in AMA-negative PBC patients compared to AMA-positive ones and controls were included in this review. Pooled sensitivity and specificity were 37% and 85%, respectively. The overall PPV and NPV mean values were 45% and 83%. Even if all biomarkers are very specific for PBC, the overall sensitivity was poor and therefore is necessary to identify a marker with a greater sensitivity for PBC in AMA-negative patients.

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