Pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP) is a secretory protein that is overexpressed by the pancreas during acute pancreatitis. This study was carried out to assess the clinical value of PAP in acute pancreatitis, particularly its ability to indicate the severity of the disease.
Twenty-one healthy subjects, 58 patients with acute pancreatitis, and 20 patients with nonpancreatic acute abdomen were studied. In addition to serum PAP concentration, serum concentrations of amylase, lipase, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured at admission and, in patients with acute pancreatitis, during the following 5 days.
On admission, serum PAP concentrations were abnormally high in 46 of the 58 patients with acute pancreatitis (79%); serum amylase, in 57 patients (98%); serum lipase, in all patients (100%); and serum CRP, in 40 patients (69%). During the subsequent days of the study, PAP and CRP tended to increase, whereas amylase and lipase decreased. No significant differences in PAP or amylase and lipase concentrations were found between patients with mild pancreatitis and those with severe pancreatitis during the entire study period, whereas from the third day to the sixth day, CRP concentrations were significantly higher in patients with severe pancreatitis than in those with mild pancreatitis. Among the 20 patients with nonpancreatic acute abdomen, PAP concentrations were abnormally high in 10 (50%), whereas amylase concentrations were abnormally high in five (25%), and lipase concentrations were high in two (10%).
Our results indicate that the clinical value of PAP in acute pancreatitis is quite limited and, in particular, that PAP is not a useful marker for determining the severity of the disease.
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