Diagnostic accuracy of sialic acid in the diagnosis of malignant ascites

Cancer. 1989 Mar 1;63(5):912-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19890301)63:5<912::aid-cncr2820630521>3.0.co;2-w.


The authors evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of sialic acid and its lipid-bound fraction in ascites and compared these tests with others (fibronectin, cholesterol) recently claimed as valuable in the differential diagnosis of ascites. Fibronectin yielded the best diagnostic accuracy (85%) with no false-positive and 37% of false-negative (10/27). The authors also found higher concentration of sialic acid in malignant ascites than in nonmalignant ascites (P less than 0.001) and, taking 300 mg/l as the cutoff value, the false-positive rate was 10% (four of 40), the false-negative rate 30% (eight of 27), and the overall diagnostic accuracy 82%, comparable to that of the fibronectin. The authors conclude that both fibronectin and sialic acid determinations in ascites may be regarded as accurate markers of neoplastic involvement of the peritoneum, although no test is useful in the ascites with hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis of the liver.

MeSH terms

  • Ascites / etiology*
  • Ascitic Fluid / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fibronectins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / complications
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sialic Acids / analysis*


  • Fibronectins
  • Sialic Acids
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid