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Neuroendocrine tumor markers and enterochromaffin-like cell hyper/dysplasia in type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Care 2004 June
OBJECTIVE: Parietal cell antibodies (PCAs) are found in 20% of type 1 diabetic patients, denoting autoimmune gastritis and pernicious anemia, which may predispose to enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cell hyper/dysplasia and gastric carcinoid tumors. We evaluated whether chromogranin A (CgA), 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA), and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) contribute to screening for ECL cell hyper/dysplasia.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Sera from 93 type 1 diabetic patients (53 men and 40 women, 31 PCA(+) and 62 PCA(-), aged 45 +/- 13 years) were analyzed for PCAs by indirect immunofluorescence and for CgA, NSE, and gastrin by radioimmunoassay. Urinary 5-HIAA was tested by high-performance liquid chromatography. Corpus atrophy and ECL cell proliferation were assessed in gastric biopsies.

RESULTS: PCA(+) patients had higher gastrin (P < 0.0001) and CgA levels (P = 0.003) and were more prone to autoimmune gastritis (odds ratio [OR] 17, P < 0.0001) and ECL cell hyper/dysplasia (OR = 23, P = 0.005) than PCA(-) subjects. ECL cell hyper/dysplasia was present in seven PCA(+) patients who showed higher CgA levels (P < 0.0001) than subjects without ECL cell hyper/dysplasia, but NSE and 5-HIAA levels were similar. CgA levels correlated with gastrinemia (r = 0.50, P < 0.0001), PCA titer (r = 0.42, P = 0.001), and 5-HIAA levels (r = 0.38, P = 0.012). Logistic regression identified the CgA level (beta = 0.01, P = 0.027) as an independent risk factor for ECL cell hyper/dysplasia when PCA, CgA, 5-HIAA, NSE, gastrin, sex, and age were tested. Multivariate linear regression demonstrated that CgA level was determined by ECL cell density (r = 0.59, P < 0.0001) and gastrin level (r = 0.67, P = 0.02). One PCA(+) patient with elevated gastrin, CgA, and 5-HIAA levels had a gastric carcinoid tumor.

CONCLUSIONS: PCA(+) patients, particularly those with high gastrin and CgA levels, risk developing ECL cell hyper/dysplasia. The determination of CgA, but not NSE and 5-HIAA, may complement histology in evaluating ECL cell mass.

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