Aim: This study aimed to investigate whether plasma miR-21 and miR-92a levels may be used to differentiate between patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis (UC) and colorectal cancer (CRC).
Background: miRNA expression profiles are well characterized in CRC, but its expression in UC and IBS remains promising. Screening of high risk individuals for these diseases has substantial clinical benefit.
Patitients and methods: This was a case-control study. We quantified plasma miR-21 and miR-92a expression levels in 100 samples (37 with active UC, 33 with CRC and 30 with IBS and 30 healthy controls) using real time PCR. Their diagnostic performance for discriminating these diseases were assessed using receiver-operation characteristic curve (AUC-ROC).
Results: The studied miRNAs were differentially expressed among all participated groups. Plasma miR-21 and miR-92a levels exhibited significant upregulation in CRC as compared to IBS, UC and healthy subjects. Both miRNAs were upregulated in UC group as compared to IBS and healthy subjects. Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis revealed promising diagnostic performance for miR-21 and miR-92a in discriminating UC from non-UC groups (IBS and healthy subjects) with AUC of 0.844 and 0.979 respectively and in distinguishing between CRC and UC with AUC of 0.968 and 0.887 respectively and with reasonable sensitivities and specificities.
Conclusion: Circulating miR-21 and miR-92a can be exploited not only as potential noninvasive biomarkers for detection of CRC but also for differentiation between functional and organic colorectal disorders.
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