Objective: We sought to assess the ability of human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) and CA-125 to distinguish among benign, borderline, and malignant pelvic masses in premenopausal women.
Study design: We conducted a subset analysis of data from a prospective clinical trial that enrolled women undergoing surgery for an adnexal mass. Diagnostic performance of CA-125 and HE4 for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) detection in premenopausal women was determined.
Results: Of 229 premenopausal patients, 195 (85%) had benign masses, 18 (8%) had EOC, and 16 (7%) had borderline ovarian tumor. The sensitivity of CA-125 and HE4 for EOC detection was 83.3% and 88.9%, respectively. The specificity of CA-125 and HE4 was 59.5% and 91.8%, respectively. A normal HE4 level ruled out invasive cancer in 98% of women with an elevated CA-125.
Conclusion: HE4 offers superior specificity compared to CA-125 for the differentiation of benign and malignant adnexal masses in premenopausal women.
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