CARCINOEMBRYONIC ANTIGEN

Code
500.5202
Name
CARCINOEMBRYONIC ANTIGEN
Category
None
Department
Chemistry
Start Date
Expiration Date
Synonyms
CEA; Colon Cancer Tumor Marker
CPT Codes
82378
Site
Main Lab
Reference Test
ATLAS Test Code

CEA

Specimen Information

Type

Gold, SST

Volume

1.0 ml

Transport Info

Refrigerated 7 day stability

Fasting Required?
False
Patient Instructions

Reference Range

See Report

Methodology

Chemiluminescence

Clinical Significance

The main indication for CEA determinations is the follow-up and therapy management of colorectal carcinoma. CEA is a monomeric glycoprotein (mol. wt. approx. 180,000 D) with a variable carbohydrate component of approx. 45-60%. CEA, like AFP, belongs to the group of carcinofetal antigens that are produced during the embryonic and fetal period. The CEA gene family consists of about 17 active genes in two subgroups. The first group contains CEA and the Non-specific Cross-reacting Antigens (NCA); the second group contains the Pregnancy-Specific Glycoproteins (PSG). CEA is mainly found in the fetal gastrointestinal tract and in fetal serum. It also occurs in slight quantities in intestinal, pancreatic and hepatic tissue of healthy adults. The formation of CEA is repressed after birth, and accordingly serum CEA values are nearly immeasurable in healthy adults. High CEA concentrations are frequently found in cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma. Slight to moderate CEA elevations (rarely above 10 ng/mL) occur in 20-50% of benign diseases of the intestine, the pancreas, the liver and the lungs (e.g., liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, emphysema). Smokers also have elevated CEA values. The main indication for CEA determinations is the follow-up and therapy management of colorectal carcinoma. CEA determinations are not recommended for cancer screening in the general population. CEA concentrations within the normal range do not exclude the possible presence of a malignant disease.

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