Role of DNA microarrays in the diagnosis of pleural exudates: a feasibility study

Revue des Maladies Respiratoires. 2007 Sep;24(7):859-67. [Link]

Greillier L, Roll P, Barlesi F, Robaglia-Schlupp A, Fraticelli A, Cau P, Astoul P.

Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Méditerranée, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille, Service d’Oncologie Thoracique, Pôle Thorax, Hôpital Sainte-Marguerite, Marseille, France.


Introduction: Establishing the cause of exudative pleural effusions is sometimes difficult, especially in the context of possible malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Therefore, the development of new biological tools is necessary. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility and the diagnostic contribution of genomic analysis of cells contained in pleural fluid, using DNA microarray techniques.

Methods: Patients with pleural effusion requiring diagnostic thoracocentesis were eligible to participate in the study. Five hundred mls of pleural fluid were then collected. RNA was extracted from pleural fluid cells and its integrity was assessed. Gene expression was studied using pangenomic DNA microarrays.

Results: Seventeen patients were included (4 MPM, 8 secon-dary malignant pleurisies, 5 benign pleurisies). Three patients offered fully exploitable samples. Taking into account the results of control experiments, gene expression study from pleural fluid was reproducible. The comparison of samples showed significant differences in gene expression. Samples from 14 patients were not exploitable because of RNA degradation.

Conclusions: Gene expression study of cells from pleural fluid is feasible but remains difficult, essentially in relationship with RNA weakness.

Keywords: Gene expression profiling, Diagnosis, Exudate, Malignant pleural mesothelioma, DNA microarray