International journal of clinical and experimental pathology

Diagnostic value of carcinoembryonic antigen and carcinoma antigen 19-9 for colorectal carcinoma.

PMID 26464695


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficiency of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) with the tumor markers Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) and Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), in addition to investigating whether CA 19-9 can be used to screen the disease process in patients with CRC who had no elevation of CEA levels. Serum levels of CEA and CA 19-9 were measured in: 138 patients with CRC; 111 patients with benign colorectal diseases. The diagnostic value was performed using the logistic regression equation and receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC). The serum levels of CEA and CA 19-9 in the patients with CRC were significantly higher than those in the patients with benign colorectal diseases (P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) in the patients with CRC versus those with benign colorectal disease yielded the optimal cut-off value of 3.36 ng/ml for CEA and 23.9 U/ml for CA 19-9, respectively. The area under ROC curve (AUC) was 0.789 for CEA, 0.690 for CA 19-9 and 0.900 for the combination of the two tumor markers. The combination resulted in a higher Youden index and a sensitivity of 85.3%. The combined detection of serum CEA and CA 19-9 could play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of CRC, and could drastically improve the sensitivity for the diagnosis of CRC. CA 19-9 might be a tumor biomarker in addition to CEA for CRC.