Role of carcinoembryonic antigen and liver function tests in the detection of recurrent colorectal carcinoma

Marc S. Rocklin, Anthony J. Senagore, Timothy M. Talbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


The optimal laboratory evaluation for the early detection of liver metastases from colorectal cancer is controversial. This investigation was undertaken to compare the efficacy of liver function tests (LFTs) with that of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels for the early detection of liver metastases. Patients who developed liver metastases after potentially curative resections of adenocarcinoma of the colorectum between 1974 and 1988 were reviewed. The following laboratory tests were serially evaluated during the follow-up period: CEA., alkaline phosphatase (AP), serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH). These values were retrospectively assessed from the time of documented liver metastases to identify which lab value (s) were elevated initially. Ninety-two patients were available for study. Average time for the occurrence of liver metastases was 20 months (range, 3-72 months). The incidence of elevation of individual tests at the time of suspicion of liver metastasis was: CEA, 94.6 percent (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-797
Number of pages4
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes



  • Cancer surveillance
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen
  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • Liver function tests
  • Liver metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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