Objectives: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) may be difficult to diagnose in early stages. We aimed to measure pancreatic juice (PJ) prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentrations to determine whether they are elevated in CP and improve diagnosis of early disease. Methods: We measured PJ PGE2 in 10 patients with established CP, 25 patients who met criteria for "minimal change" chronic pancreatitis (MCCP), and 10 normal control participants. Results: Median PJ PGE2 was elevated in CP (307 pg/ml, IQR (249-362)) and MCCP (568 pg/ml, (418-854)) compared with normal controls (104 pg/ml, (68-206)) (P ≤ 0.001). Area under receiving operator curve (AUROC) for diagnosis of CP and MCCP was 0.9 and 0.62, respectively, for PJ bicarbonate concentration alone; AUROC was 1.0 and 0.94 for the combination of PJ bicarbonate and PGE2 concentrations. Conclusions: PJ PGE2 appears to be a biomarker for CP and is elevated in both established and "minimal change" chronic pancreatitis.
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