The time-dependent changes in serum carcinoembryonic antigen impact on posthepatectomy outcomes of colorectal liver metastasis



      Only a few studies have examined the impact of carcinoembryonic antigen variation in patients before and after curative resection of colorectal liver metastasis . This study examined the correlation between carcinoembryonic antigen levels and patient prognosis.


      Patients who underwent curative resection for colorectal liver metastasis between 2000 and 2017 were enrolled. This study examined patients with high preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen levels that normalized after resection of colorectal liver metastasis and the correlation between prognosis and time-dependent changes in carcinoembryonic antigen levels. The similarity in the risk of recurrence in patients with normal preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen levels was evaluated.


      A total of 143 consecutive patients were included in the study cohort and classified into the normal preoperative (46 patients), normalized postoperative (57 patients), and elevated preoperative and postoperative (40 patients) carcinoembryonic antigen groups. All clinicopathologic characteristics were comparable between patients grouped according to carcinoembryonic antigen levels. The 5-year disease-free survival and overall survival rates for all patients were 30.4% and 56.0%, respectively. Multivariate analysis confirmed that elevated preoperative and postoperative carcinoembryonic antigen levels (hazard ratio = 1.73, 95% confidence interval: 1.04–2.87) were independently associated with poor disease-free survival; normalization of postoperative carcinoembryonic antigen (hazard ratio = 0.94, 95% confidence interval: 0.57–1.53) was statistically indistinguishable from normal preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen levels. The risk of recurrence was similar to that of patients with normal preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen levels


      Patients with elevated preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen levels that normalized after resection of colorectal liver metastasis were not at risk of poor disease-free survival. Elevated carcinoembryonic antigen levels after surgery are independent prognostic factors for disease-free survival.
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