Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) in ascites caused by various diseases. Moreover, it was attempted to investigate its usefulness in the differential diagnosis between malignant and benign ascites.
Methods: A total of 52 ascitic fluid samples were collected from cirrhotic patients referred to Ghaem Hospital affiliated to Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashad, Iran. Subsequently, the samples were divided into two experimental groups, namely benign ascites (n=26) and malignant ascites (n=26). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was utilized to determine the presence of Cox-2 mRNA in samples.
Results: According to the results, the mean age of the patients was 56.94±12.04 years (age range: 30-80 years), and the majority of the patients were male (1.88 to 1). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of age and gender. The Cox-2 mRNA was detected in 4 (15.4%) and 15 (57.7%) patients from the benign and malignant groups, respectively (P=0.003). Moreover, the sensitivity, specificity, as well as positive and negative predictive values of Cox2 to differentiate malignant from benign ascites were estimated at 57.7%, 84.6%, 78.9%, and 66.7%, respectively.
Conclusion: The Cox2 mRNA expression assessed by RT-PCR could be a useful method in differential diagnosis and screening of malignant ascites.