Journal of Neurology

, Volume 233, Issue 6, pp 358–361 | Cite as

The clinical relevance of locally produced carcinoembryonic antigen in cerebrospinal fluid

  • C. Jacobi
  • H. Reiber
  • K. Felgenhauer
Original Investigations


Sixteen out of eighteen meningeal carcinomas (89%) secreted carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) into the cerebrospinal fluid, where it could be quantified separately from the portion originating from the circulating blood. The discrimination of both fractions was performed according to an empirical approach analogous to the immunoglobulins. Only 47% of the intraparenchymal carcinomas released CEA into the CSF compartment and it is possible that the extracellular space of these tumour sites does not communicate with the free CSF space. Extradural metastases may cause an impairment of the blood-CSF barrier via restrictions of the CSF fluid turnover, but the dura remains impermeable for the tumour marker. Seven out of 54 primary brain tumours (13%) released carcinoembryonic antigen into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Key words

Neoplasm antigens Carcinoembryonic antigen Cerebrospinal fluid Brain neoplasms Blood-brain barrier 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Felgenhauer K (1982) Differentiation of the humoral immune response in inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system. J Neurol 228:223–237Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Felgenhauer K (1986) The blood-brain barrier redefined. J Neurol (in press)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Felgenhauer K, Nekic M, Jacobi C, Reiber H, Frowein RA (1984) Tumormarker im Liquor cerebrospinalis. Aktuel Onkol 13:107–117Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fontaniere B, Ardiet C, Clavel M, Lahneche B, Clavel E, Faucon M (1981) La détection des métastases cérébro-meningées des cancers du sein par l'examen cytologique couplé à la recherche d'antigène carcino-embryonnaire dans le liquide céphaloarachidien. Arch Anat Cytol Pathol 29:287–290Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gold P, Freedman SO (1975) Tests for cacinoembryonic antigen. JAMA 234:190–192Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hill S, Martin E, Ellison EC, Hunt WE (1980) Carcinoembryonic antigen estimation in cerebrospinal fluid of adult brain-tumor patients. J Neurosurg 53:627–632Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Miyake E, Yamashita M, Kitamura K, Ishigami F (1979) CEA levels in patients with brain tumours. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 46:53–57Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Posner JB (1980) A clinician's view. In: Weiss L, Gilbert HA, Posner JB (eds) Brain metastasis. Hall, Boston, Mass., pp 2–29Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Reiber H (1980) The discrimination between different blood-CSF barrier dysfunctions and inflammatory reactions of the CNS by a recent evaluation graph for the protein profile of cerebrospinal fluid. J Neurol 224:89–99Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reiber H, Jacobi C, Felgenhauer K (1986) Sensitive quantitation of carcinoembryonic antigen in cerebrospinal fluid and its barrier dependent differentiation. Clin Chim Acta 156:259–270Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wasserström WR, Schwartz MK, Fleisher M, Posner JB (1981) Cerebrospinal fluid biochemical markers in central nervous system tumors: a review. Ann Clin Lab Sci 11:239–251Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wasserström WR, Glass JP, Posner JB (1982) Diagnosis and treatment of leptomeningeal metastasis from solid tumors. Experience with 90 patients. Cancer 49:759–772Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yap BS, Yap HY, Fritsche WA, Blumenschein G, Bodey GP (1980) CSF carcinoembryonic antigen in meningeal carcinomatosis from breast cancer. JAMA 244:1601–1603Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Jacobi
    • 1
  • H. Reiber
    • 1
  • K. Felgenhauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations