Test Catalog

Test Id : CEASF

Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), Spinal Fluid

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Detecting meningeal carcinomatosis and intradural or extradural infiltration 


Differentiating brain parenchymal metastasis from adenocarcinoma or squamous-cell carcinoma

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Immunoenzymatic Assay

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Carcinoembryonic Ag (CEA), CSF

Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

Tumor Markers

Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA)

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Collection Container/Tube: Sterile vial

Submission Container/Tube: 13 x 75-mm tube

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL


Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

0.4 mL

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

No specimen should be rejected

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
CSF Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
Frozen 90 days
Ambient 7 days

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Detecting meningeal carcinomatosis and intradural or extradural infiltration 


Differentiating brain parenchymal metastasis from adenocarcinoma or squamous-cell carcinoma

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) normally is present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in very low concentrations. Elevations in serum CEA can cause passive transfer to CSF. Tumors of the brain, especially metastatic tumors, can elevate CSF CEA.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

<0.6 ng/mL

Tumor markers are not specific for malignancy, and values may vary by method.

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Increased values are seen in approximately 60% of patients with meningeal carcinomatosis.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Although the assay appears to be specific for adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, increased carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) values in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are not seen in all patients with such tumors of the brain.


Mildly elevated CEA values in CSF may be secondary to passive transfer from the serum in individuals with high serum CEA concentrations.


In rare cases, some individuals can develop antibodies to mouse or other animal antibodies (often referred to as human anti-mouse antibodies [HAMA] or heterophile antibodies), which may cause interference in some immunoassays. Caution should be used in interpretation of results and the laboratory should be alerted if the result does not correlate with the clinical presentation.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Klee GG, Tallman RD, Goellner JR, Yanagihara T: Elevation of carcinoembryonic antigen in cerebrospinal fluid among patients with meningeal carcinomatosis. Mayo Clin Proc. 1986 Jan;61(1):9-13

2. Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Macdonald JS, Haller DG, Laurie JA, Tangen C: An evaluation of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test for monitoring patients with resected colon cancer. JAMA. 1993 Aug 25;270(8):943-947

3. Duffy MJ: Carcinogenic antigen as a marker for colorectal cancer: is it clinically useful? Clin Chem. 2001 Apr;47(4):624-630

4. Block DR, Algeciras-Schimnich A: Body fluid analysis: clinical utility and applicability of published studies to guide interpretation of today's laboratory testing in serous fluids. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2013 Jul-Oct;5(4-5):107-124

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

The Access carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) assay is a 2-site immunoenzymatic sandwich assay using 2 mouse monoclonal anti-CEA antibodies (MAb) that react with different epitopes of CEA. A sample is added to a reaction vessel, along with the first anti-CEA MAb-alkaline phosphatase conjugate and the second anti-CEA MAb bound to paramagnetic particles. The incubation is followed by a magnetic separation and washing. The chemiluminescent substrate Lumi-Phos 530 is added to the vessel and light generated by the reaction is measured with a luminometer. The light production is proportional to the concentration of CEA in the sample. The amount of analyte in the sample is determined by means of a stored, multipoint calibrator curve.(Package insert: Access CEA, Beckman Coulter Inc; 2020)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Saturday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

1 to 3 days

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

12 months

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

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  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their Regional Manager. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test has been modified from the manufacturer's instructions. Its performance characteristics were determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.


LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
CEASF Carcinoembryonic Ag (CEA), CSF 2037-0
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
CEASF Carcinoembryonic Ag (CEA), CSF 2037-0

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports