, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 573-576

Signet ring carcinoma of the pancreas, a rare variant with very high CEA values

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Signet ring carcinoma of the pancreas is rare. We report a case which was remarkable for (1) diffuse, infiltrating growth which suggested chronic pancreatitis at laparotomy, and (2) an associated very high circulating carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level of 6400 ng/ml. The case report and autopsy are presented. Twelve other cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma (non-signet ring) are compared with the signet ring carcinoma with respect to CEA staining and circulating levels. We conclude immunocytochemical staining of biopsy tissue for CEA is a useful adjunct in the interpretation of circulating CEA levels in pancreatic carcinoma.