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Circulating MicroRNA Is a Biomarker of Biliary Atresia

Zahm, Adam M.; Hand, Nicholas J.; Boateng, LaTasha A.; Friedman, Joshua R.

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: October 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 4 - p 366–369
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318264e648
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Objective: The lack of reliable noninvasive diagnostic biomarkers of biliary atresia (BA) results in delayed diagnosis and worsened patient outcome. Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of noninvasive biomarkers with encouraging diagnostic utility.

Methods: We examined the ability of serum miRNAs to distinguish BA from other forms of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. BA-specific serum miRNAs were identified using a microfluidic array platform and validated in a larger, independent sample set.

Results: The miR-200b/429 cluster was significantly increased in the sera of patients with BA relative to infants with non-BA cholestatic disorders.

Conclusions: Circulating levels of the miR-200b/429 cluster are elevated in infants with BA and have promising diagnostic clinical performance.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text

Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Joshua R. Friedman, ARC 902G, 3615 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (e-mail:

Received 22 May, 2012

Accepted 15 June, 2012

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (

The present work was supported by the NIH/NIDDK Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases (P30-DK050306) and its core facilities. The present study was supported by the Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center, NIH grant R01DK079881 (JRF), and NIH grant U01DK062456 (ChiLDREN). identifier: NCT00061828.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2012 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN