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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17325
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Is it possible to have a false positive on a CEA test when

Resolved Question:

Is it possible to have a false positive on a CEA test when you have a active ecoli infection and multple Auto-immune diseases?
My CEA test that came back 9.3 ng/ml and that combined with a Low Lymphocyte count of 12% and MCH 26.1, MCHC 31.2 and Hb 11, suffering symptoms of Fatgue, lower abdominal/palvic pain and Lower back pain with chronic UTI's and decreased GFR 39.
I have diagnosed Auto Immunes: Weber’s Christianson Disease, Wegener’s Granulomatosis and Polyarteritis Nodosa.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

There are many possible causes of an elevated CEA level, but it has not been associated with an E. coli infection. It has been reported to be increased in smokers, as well as with inflammatory conditions, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, peptic ulcers, COPD, and benign breast disease. It is because of the high incidence of other conditions that can cause an elevated CEA that it is generally not considered an effective screening process. In a person with a history of a known malignancy that develops an elevated CEA, there should be an investigation for recurrence of the cancer, even if there is a condition present that can cause an elevated level.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have also done Ca 125 which was negative and a fecal stick also negative. Would you than feel this test result supports having a Colonoscopy?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

Most doctors do not use CEA as a screening test, because of the number of conditions that cause an elevated result, as noted above. If it is chosen to use it as a screening test, then the next step would be to perform a colonoscopy. There is also a recommendation that all persons receive regular colon cancer screening, and a colonoscopy every ten years is one of the recommended regimens. Therefore, it would be reasonable to perform a colonoscopy, but most doctors would recommend the screening colonoscopy and would not have performed the CEA.


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