Do cytokine concentrations in pancreatic juice predict the presence of pancreatic diseases?

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Jun;4(6):782-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2006.03.026. Epub 2006 May 19.


Background & aims: Cytokine concentration in pancreatic juice of patients with pancreatic disease is unknown. Secretin stimulation allows endoscopic collection of pancreatic juice secreted into the duodenum. We aimed to evaluate the cytokine concentrations in pancreatic juice of patients with abdominal pain to discriminate presence from absence of pancreatic disease.

Methods: From January 2003-December 2004, consecutive patients with abdominal pain compatible with pancreatic origin were enrolled. Patients underwent upper endoscopy. Intravenous secretin (0.2 mug/kg) was given immediately before scope intubation. Pancreatic juice collected from the duodenum was immediately snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen until assays were performed. Pancreatic juice levels of interleukin-8, interleukin-6, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and transforming growth factor-beta 1 were measured by modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The final diagnosis was made by the primary gastroenterologist on the basis of medical history; laboratory, endoscopic, and imaging studies; and clinical follow-up. Fisher exact test and Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Of 130 patients screened, 118 met the inclusion criteria. Multivariate analysis revealed that only interleukin-8 was able to discriminate between normal pancreas and chronic pancreatitis (P = .011), pancreatic cancer (P = .044), and the presence of pancreatic diseases (P = .007). Individual cytokine concentrations were not significantly different in chronic pancreatitis compared with pancreatic cancer.

Conclusions: Cytokine levels can be measured in pancreatic juice obtained from the duodenum without direct cannulation of the pancreatic duct. Interleukin-8 concentration in pancreatic juice can be used to discriminate between normal pancreas and patients with pancreatic disease. This is a relatively simple and noninvasive method to aid in the diagnosis of pancreatic diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Interleukin-8 / analysis
  • Lipase / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Juice / chemistry*
  • Pancreatic Juice / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Secretin / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / analysis


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Secretin
  • Lipase