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Serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in patients with bipolar disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2015

Ibrahim Kaplan*
Department of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey
Mahmut Bulut
Department of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey
Abdullah Atli
Department of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey
Mehmet Güneş
Department of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey
Mehmet Cemal Kaya
Department of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey
Leyla Çolpan
Department of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey
Ibrahim Kaplan, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakır, Turkey. Tel: +90 505 451 2025; Fax: +90 412 248 8520; E-mail:



Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is an oncofetal glycoprotein that is widely used as a tumour marker in adenocarcinomas. However, several non-neoplastic conditions, including acute and chronic inflammation and other inflammation-related conditions, are characterised by increased CEA concentrations.

Bipolar disorder (BD) ranks seventh among the worldwide burden of non-fatal diseases. Inflammatory biomarkers have been considered as one of the main key pillars of a multifactorial approach for prediction of BD in an at-risk population.

BP is accompanied by activation of inflammatory, cell-mediated and negative immunoregulatory cytokines.


We measured the levels of CEA in serum samples from 44 individuals with euthymic BP out-patients and 45 healthy controls. Patients were diagnosed according to the DSM-IV criteria. CEA was measured by an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.


The mean serum CEA concentration was 2.36±1.52 and 1.77±0.98 µg/l in patients and controls, respectively. CEA levels were significantly increased in euthymic BP patients when compared with controls (p=0.031).


This study suggests that CEA is increased in BD and supports a role for immune activation in the core pathological mechanisms of BP. CEA levels may be a secondary marker for diagnosing BP.

Original Articles
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 

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