Circulating Leptin and Branched Chain Amino Acids—Correlation with Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm Dysplastic Grade

Michele T. Yip-Schneider, Rachel Simpson, Rosalie A. Carr, Huangbing Wu, Hao Fan, Ziyue Liu, Murray Korc, Jianjun Zhang, C. Max Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: The most common type of mucinous pancreatic cyst that may progress to pancreatic cancer is intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN). Low-risk IPMN with low-/moderate-grade dysplasia may be safely watched, whereas high-risk IPMN with high-grade dysplasia or invasive components should undergo resection. However, there is currently no reliable means of making this distinction. We hypothesize that blood concentrations of insulin resistance biomarkers may aid in the differentiation of low- and high-risk IPMN. Methods: Plasma/serum was collected from consented patients undergoing pancreatic resection. IPMN diagnosis and dysplastic grade were confirmed by surgical pathology. The study included 235 IPMN (166 low/moderate grade, 39 high grade, 30 invasive). Circulating levels of leptin, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), and retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP-4) were measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay and correlated with surgical pathology. Results: Circulating leptin levels (mean ± SE) were significantly higher in patients with low/moderate IPMN than in high-grade/invasive IPMN (15,803 ± 1686 vs. 10,275 ± 1228 pg/ml; p = 0.0086). Leptin levels were positively correlated with BMI (r = 0.65, p < 0.0001) and were higher in females (p < 0.0001). Stratified analysis showed that mean leptin levels were significantly different between low/moderate and high/invasive IPMNs only in females (24,383 ± 2748 vs. 16,295 ± 2040 pg/ml; p = 0.020). Conversely, circulating BCAA levels were lower in low/moderate IPMN than in high-grade/invasive IPMN (0.38 ± 0.007 vs. 0.42 ± 0.01 mM; p = 0.011). No significant differences in RBP-4 levels were observed. Conclusions: Circulating leptin in females and BCAA correlates with IPMN dysplastic grade and, if combined with clinical characteristics, have the potential to improve clinical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-974
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2019


  • BCAA
  • Biomarker
  • IPMN
  • Leptin
  • Pancreatic cyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

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