Ascites levels of haptoglobin in patients with ovarian cancer

Steven A. Elg, Linda F Carson, Jeffrey M. Fowler, Leo B. Twiggs, Mark M. Moradi, Sundaram Ramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background. Haptoglobin is an acute‐phase reactant protein involved in immune regulation. It has been isolated from malignant ovarian ascites and has been shown to be capable of mediating nonspecific immune suppression in vitro in humans and in vivo in experimental animals. The range of concentrations under which such a nonspecific suppression is observed lies well within concentrations of haptoglobin observed in vivo. This immune suppression could adversely affect patient outcome. Methods. Based on this information, ascites haptoglobin levels of 21 consecutive patients with ovarian cancer who underwent initial surgical debulking were determined. After the patients received chemotherapy, they were divided into those having a positive and those have a negative second‐look operation. Results. Seventeen patients with positive pathology at second look had an initial mean ascites haptoglobin level of 99 ± 49 mg/dl. The mean haptoglobin level in the four patients with negative findings was 67 ± 42 mg/dl. The difference in these mean haptoglobin levels is not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Conclusion. Although the number of patients in this study is small, the wide range of values documented in both groups make it doubtful that an initial absolute ascites haptoglobin level will prove clinically prognostic of eventual disease status at the time of second look laparotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3938-3941
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1993


  • ascites
  • haptoglobin
  • ovarian cancer
  • prognosis


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