Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
CEA has limited value in primary diagnosis of malignancy since
it has poor specificity and low sensitivity for early stage G.I.
carcinoma. CEA may be elevated in almost any advanced
adenocarcinoma where distant metastases are present and is almost
never elevated in early malignancy. Regular levels may have a role
in the detection of recurrent disease or in monitoring tumour
therapy in colorectal, gastric, breast, bronchial and some ovarian
Request on ICE
On request if specific criteria met.
Monitoring of therapy for colorectal, gastric, breast and
bronchial carcinomas. CEA should not be used in the initial
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Causes for Rejection
Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific
criteria for analysis; inadequate clinical information.
Less than 4 µg/L
Half-life in Serum
Approx. 3 days but can vary from 1 to 5 days.
Modest elevations may be found in normal pregnancy, in smokers
(up to approx. 7 ug/L), in certain inflammatory bowel disorders
including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, in pancreatitis,
gastric ulceration and alcoholic infections.