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Carcinoembryonic antigen-positive pleural effusion in early stage non-small cell lung cancer without pleural infiltration


Enz, Njanja; Fragoso, Fernando; Gamrekeli, Alexander; Lippek, Frank; Jungraithmayr, Wolfgang (2018). Carcinoembryonic antigen-positive pleural effusion in early stage non-small cell lung cancer without pleural infiltration. Journal of Thoracic Disease, 10(5):E340-E343.

Abstract

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor marker for detecting recurrences of adenocarcinomas such as colon cancer. In lung adenocarcinoma, CEA elevation can be found in both serum and malignant pleural effusion. However, CEA elevation in cytologically negative pleural effusion in the presence of adenocarcinoma without pleural infiltration has not been described. We here present the case of an 82-year-old man with incidental early stage adenocarcinoma of the right upper lobe showing CEA elevation in pleural fluid and serum despite negative cytological findings. Due to limited lung reserve the tumor was removed by wide wedge resection, but the visceral pleura was not affected and infiltration of the parietal pleura was ruled out by pleural biopsies. Serum and pleural CEA levels declined postoperatively as measured at 1 and 2 months follow-up. This case shows CEA elevation in serum and pleural fluid in early stage lung adenocarcinoma with negative cytology and no sign of pleural infiltration. Previous research revealed that CEA level in pleural effusion correlates to serum CEA and is significantly higher in adenocarcinoma of the lung than in other lung cancer entities. Firstly, this case suggests that determination of CEA levels can increase the diagnostic sensitivity in cases with cytologically negative pleural effusion suspicious of malignant origin and secondly, it contributes valuable information to the decision whether follow-up of pulmonary nodules or continuative diagnostics such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) wedge resection is indicated.

Abstract

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor marker for detecting recurrences of adenocarcinomas such as colon cancer. In lung adenocarcinoma, CEA elevation can be found in both serum and malignant pleural effusion. However, CEA elevation in cytologically negative pleural effusion in the presence of adenocarcinoma without pleural infiltration has not been described. We here present the case of an 82-year-old man with incidental early stage adenocarcinoma of the right upper lobe showing CEA elevation in pleural fluid and serum despite negative cytological findings. Due to limited lung reserve the tumor was removed by wide wedge resection, but the visceral pleura was not affected and infiltration of the parietal pleura was ruled out by pleural biopsies. Serum and pleural CEA levels declined postoperatively as measured at 1 and 2 months follow-up. This case shows CEA elevation in serum and pleural fluid in early stage lung adenocarcinoma with negative cytology and no sign of pleural infiltration. Previous research revealed that CEA level in pleural effusion correlates to serum CEA and is significantly higher in adenocarcinoma of the lung than in other lung cancer entities. Firstly, this case suggests that determination of CEA levels can increase the diagnostic sensitivity in cases with cytologically negative pleural effusion suspicious of malignant origin and secondly, it contributes valuable information to the decision whether follow-up of pulmonary nodules or continuative diagnostics such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) wedge resection is indicated.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Thoracic Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
Language:English
Date:May 2018
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 11:38
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 09:38
Publisher:AME Publishing Company
ISSN:2072-1439
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.21037/jtd.2018.04.111
PubMed ID:29997989

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