Vol 4, No 3 (2019)
Research paper
Published online: 2019-08-11

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Galectin-3: a novel blood test for the classification of patients with COPD. An observational study

Togay Evrin1, Bulut Demirel2, Lukasz Szarpak3, Damian Gorczyca3, Nalan Ogan4, Tuba Çandarlı5, Zamir Kemal Ertürk6, Atila Korkmaz1, Matt Hutcherson7, Kurt Ruetzler8, Gülhan Meral4
Disaster Emerg Med J 2019;4(3):77-82.


INTRODUCTION: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the major causes of mortality and mortality affecting the whole world. In the inflammatory process, lectin is elevated and consequently, Galectin-3 expression is increased. This relation has been revealed by studies on coronary diseases. However, studies on the association of Galectin-3 with COPD and even other pulmonary diseases have been limited, although it has been studied and described on cardiologic patients. For this reason, in this study Galectin-3 levels in different stages of COPD patients were investigated and whether Galectin-3 could be a guide clinically. 

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is an observational prospective study, approved by local ethic committee (30112015-12), which included three groups of patients, COPD exacerbation, COPD stable and control group, admitted to tertiary healthcare between 01.09.2016 and 01.09.2017. 

RESULTS: 137 subjects were included in the study. The mean age of patients in the study was 70.6. Galectin- 3 level in the group of COPD (exacerbation and stable) was significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.001). The Galectin-3 level was significantly lower in COPD exacerbation group than groups of stable COPD and control. And also, Galectin-3 level was significantly lower in stable COPD group than the control group (p values: 0.034, 0.001 and 0.013, respectively). The ROC analysis for the Galectin-3 levels between the COPD patients (exacerbation and stable) and the control group is shown in Figure 2 (AUC = 0.784). When the cut-off points of Galectin-3 is selected as 11.4; for this cut-off point, sensitivity is 83% and specificity is 71% for this cut-off point (AUC: 0.79 %95 GA: 0.70–0.86 p < 0.001). 

CONCLUSIONS: COPD is a disease with high mortality and morbidity and efforts are being made to identify its severity and exacerbations with various biomarkers. In this study, Galectin-3 levels were found to be lower in patients with stable COPD group according to the control group. In addition, galactin-3 levels were found to be lower in COPD exacerbation group according to both Stable COPD group and control group. Although a certain threshold value was found in this study, more studies are needed to determine this threshold value more precisely. However, it is clear that these data are promising.

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