Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor levels are associated with severity of fibrosis in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis


  • B. Özdirik
  • M. Maibier
  • M. Scherf
  • J.M. Nicklaus
  • J. Frohme
  • T. Puengel
  • D. Meyer Zum Büschenfelde
  • F. Tacke
  • T. Mueller
  • M. Sigal


  • Journal of Clinical Medicine


  • J Clin Med 11 (9): 2479


  • The soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) has evolved as a useful biomarker for different entities of chronic liver disease. However, its role in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is obscure. We analyzed plasma levels of suPAR in 84 patients with PSC and compared them to 68 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) without PSC and to 40 healthy controls. Results are correlated with clinical records. suPAR concentrations were elevated in patients with PSC compared to patients with IBD only and to healthy controls ((p) (&)lt; 0.001). Elevated suPAR levels were associated with the presence of liver cirrhosis ((p) (&)lt; 0.001) and signs of portal hypertension ((p) (&)lt; 0.001). suPAR revealed a high accuracy for the discrimination of the presence of liver cirrhosis comparable to previously validated noninvasive fibrosis markers (area under the curve (AUC) 0.802 (95%CI: 0.702-0.902)). Further, we demonstrated that suPAR levels may indicate the presence of acute cholangitis episodes ((p) (&)lt; 0.001). Finally, despite the high proportion of PSC patients with IBD, presence of IBD and its disease activity did not influence circulating suPAR levels. suPAR represents a previously unrecognized biomarker for diagnosis and liver cirrhosis detection in patients with PSC. However, it does not appear to be confounded by intestinal inflammation in the context of IBD.