Indexed on: 01 Nov '80Published on: 01 Nov '80Published in: Journal of neurosurgery
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was measured in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in patients with neoplasms and non-neoplastic neurologic conditions of the central nervous system (CNS). Seventy-two control patients had a mean CEAcsf of 0.04 ng/cu cm, 31 patients with benign tumors had a mean CEAcsf of 0.03 ng/cu cm, and 21 patients with malignant CNS tumors had mean CEAcsf of 21.7 ng/cu cm. In the absence of intradural metastasis, the existence of non-CNS malignancies did not cause CEA to appear in the CSF. There was no relationship between the plasma and CSF levels of CEA. The CSF is normally free of CEA, and its detection is strongly suggestive of either primary or secondary intradural malignancy. The titres of CEA decline with effective therapy, and may be of use in monitoring treated patients for recurrence.