The National Pancreatic Cyst Registry | Page 7
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CEA

High CEA levels are associated with malignant cysts, but most cysts with a high CEA level are benign.

Nearly one-third of patients with a malignant cyst have a CEA level lower than 192 ng/ml.

Benign                        Malignant

  • 0-5 ng/mL                  49 (92%)                       4 (8%)
  • 5-192 ng/mL              85 (92%)                       7 (8%)
  • 192-1000 ng/mL       71 (89%)                       9 (11%)
  • >1000 ng/mL             55 (72%)                       21 (28%)

A cyst’s mucinous status, as defined by an elevated CEA or any other definition, cannot predict the risk of cancer.

cea.plot.1_20130912