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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2019 Jul-Aug;30(4):898-904. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.265466.

Serum tumor markers in advanced stages of chronic kidney diseases.

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Department of biochemistry, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Department of Nephrology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most important noncommunicable diseases. Abnormal concentration of some tumor markers were found in a spectrum of nonmalignant diseases such as benign ovarian tumors, breast diseases, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, diseases of the bile duct, and in CKD. Hence, the present study was undertaken to evaluate carbohydrate antigen (CA) 15-3, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CA 19-9, and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) concentrations in advanced stages of CKD (Stage 4 and 5) patients who are not on dialysis and with no known malignancy. Patients included 40 CKD patients and 40 healthy controls. CA 15-3, CEA, CA 19-9, and HCG in serum were estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The differences in tumor marker levels between the controls and advanced stages of CKD (Stage 4 and 5) were assessed using one-way analysis of variance using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for Windows version 16.5. CKD patients had significantly elevated levels of CEA, HCG, CA 19-9, and CA 15-3 compared to the control group (P = 0.001). There was no difference in the tumor markers levels between CKD Stage 4 and 5. Elevation in serum tumor markers may be a possibility in patients with CKD even in the situations of the absence of a malignancy. This may be due to an alteration in their metabolism in CKD and reduction of glomerular filtration rate leading to impaired excretion. Hence, it may be prudent to exercise caution in the interpretation of serum tumor markers as a representative for underlined malignancy in patients of CKD.

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