An important attribute of microRNAs is their potential use as disease biomarkers. However, such applications may be restricted because of unsatisfactory performance of the microRNA of interest. Owing to moderate correlation with spine T-score, miR-194-5p was identified as a potential biomarker for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Here, we determined whether medical examination could improve its characteristic as a biomarker for postmenopausal osteoporosis. We recruited 230 postmenopausal Chinese women to measure circulating levels of miR-194-5p, determine the spine bone status, and perform a 42-item medical examination. No obvious information redundancy was observed between miR-194-5p and any one item. However, on examining miR-194-5p alone, the sensitivity at fixed specificity of 0.9 (SESP=0.9) was 0.27, implying poor identification of at-risk individuals. Model integration of the microRNA and multiple medical items strengthened this property; in addition, model complexity greatly contributed to performance improvement. Using a model composed of two artificial neural networks, the ability of miR-194-5p to identify at-risk individuals significantly improved (SESP=0.9 = 0.54) when correlated with five medical items: weight, age, left ventricular end systolic diameter, alanine aminotransferase, and urine epithelial cell count. We present a feasible way to achieve a more accurate microRNA-based biomarker for a disease of interest.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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