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The YKL-40 protein is a potential biomarker for COPD: a meta-analysis and systematic review

Authors Tong X, Wang D, Liu S, Ma Y, Li Z, Tian P, Fan H

Received 27 September 2017

Accepted for publication 19 December 2017

Published 30 January 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 409—418

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S152655

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Chunxue Bai


Xiang Tong,1 Dongguang Wang,1 Sitong Liu,1 Yao Ma,1,2 Zhenzhen Li,3 Panwen Tian,1,4 Hong Fan1

1Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, West China Hospital/West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 2The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China Hospital/West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 3Health Management Center, West China Hospital/West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 4Lung Cancer Center, West China Hospital/West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China

Background: Many studies have found that YKL-40 may play an important pathogenic role in COPD. However, the results of these studies were inconsistent. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the role of YKL-40 in COPD.
Methods: We performed a systematic literature search in many database and commercial internet search engines to identify studies involving the role of YKL-40 in patients with COPD. The standardized mean difference (SMD) and Fisher’s Z-value with its 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to investigate the effect sizes.
Results: A total of 15 eligible articles including 16 case–control/cohort groups were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that the serum YKL-40 levels in patients with COPD were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (SMD =1.58, 95% CI =0.68–2.49, P=0.001), and it was correlated with lung function (pooled r=-0.32; Z=-0.33; P<0.001). The results of subgroup analysis found that the serum YKL-40 levels were statistically different between the exacerbation group and the stable group in patients with COPD (SMD =1.55, 95% CI =0.81–2.30, P<0.001). Moreover, the results indicated that the sputum YKL-40 levels in patients with COPD were also significantly higher than those in healthy controls (SMD =0.70, 95% CI =0.10–1.30, P=0.022).
Conclusion: The current study suggests that YKL-40 may be implicated in bronchial inflammation and remodeling in COPD and may be considered as a useful biomarker for COPD diagnosis and monitoring.

Keywords: YKL-40, COPD, biomarker, meta-analysis

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