The diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder (BD-II) is currently based on the patients’ description of symptoms and clinical behavioral observations. This study explored the possibility of miRNA in peripheral blood (serum) as a specific biomarker for BD-II. We identified 6 candidate miRNAs to differentiate BD-II patients from controls using next-generation sequencing. We then examined these candidate miRNAs using real-time PCR in the first cohort (as training group) of 79 BD-II and 95 controls. A diagnostic model was built based on these candidate miRNAs and then tested on an individual testing group (BD-II: n = 20, controls: n = 20). We found that serum expression levels of miR-7-5p, miR-23b-3p, miR-142-3p, miR-221-5p, and miR-370-3p significantly increased in BD-II compared with controls in the first cohort, whereas that of miR-145-5p showed no significant difference. The diagnostic power of the identified miRNAs was further analyzed using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC). Support vector machine (SVM) measurements revealed that a combination of the significant miRNAs reached good diagnostic accuracy (AUC: 0.907). We further examined an independent testing group and the diagnostic power reached fair for BD-II (specificity = 90%, sensitivity = 85%). We constructed miRNA panels using SVM model, which may aid in the diagnosis for BD-II.
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