Immunoassay for the quantitative determination of carcinoembryonic antigen in human serum.
Clinical details: 
CEA is a monomeric glycoprotein (molecular weight approx. 180000 daltons) with a variable carbohydrate component of approx. 45-60%. CEA belongs to the group of carcinofoetal antigens that are produced during the embryonic and foetal period. CEA is mainly found in the foetal gastrointestinal tract and in foetal 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 hardly measurable in healthy adults.
High CEA concentrations are frequently found in cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma.
Slight to moderate CEA elevations (rarely > 10 ug/L) 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.
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.
Reference range: 

0 - 3.4

Synonyms or keywords: 
Carcinoembryonic antigen
Sample type and Volume required: 
Turnaround time: 
2 days
Storage and transport: 
Blood Sciences Department-Guy's And St Thomas' Hospital
Result Query: 020 7188 8008
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For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 07/08/2015