Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a fibroinflammatory syndrome leading to organ dysfunction, chronic pain, an increased risk for pancreatic cancer and considerable morbidity. Due to a lack of specific biomarkers, diagnosis is based on symptoms and specific but insensitive imaging features, preventing an early diagnosis and appropriate management.
We conducted a type 3 study for multivariable prediction for individual prognosis according to the TRIPOD guidelines. A signature to distinguish CP from controls (n=160) was identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry on ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-plasma and validated in independent cohorts.
A Naive Bayes algorithm identified eight metabolites of six ontology classes. After algorithm training and computation of optimal cut-offs, classification according to the metabolic signature detected CP with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.85 ((95% CI 0.79 to 0.91). External validation in two independent cohorts (total n=502) resulted in similar accuracy for detection of CP compared with non-pancreatic controls in EDTA-plasma (AUC 0.85 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.89)) and serum (AUC 0.87 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.95)).
This is the first study that identifies and independently validates a metabolomic signature in plasma and serum for the diagnosis of CP in large, prospective cohorts. The results could provide the basis for the development of the first routine laboratory test for CP.
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