Quantitation of carcinoembryonic antigen in the lung lining fluid of normal smokers and nonsmokers

W. W. Merrill, M. Goodman, R. A. Matthay, G. P. Naegel, J. P. Vandevoorde, A. D. Myl, H. Y. Reynolds

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Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed in 47 volunteers: 19 nonsmokers and 28 smokers. Total protein, albumin, immunoglobulins G and A, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) were measured in the concentrated lavage effluent. Although a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the ratio of CEA to total protein recovered from the group of smokers was found, this increase primarily reflected the greater increase that occurred in a subgroup of 7 smokers. However, the increases in lavage CEA correlated weakly (p = 0.096) with smoking history in pack-years, and not at all with plasma CEA concentrations. Results regarding the number of cells recovered and immunoglobulin-to-albumin concentraton ratios in these subjects were similar to those reported by others. Thus, CEA was increased in the lavage fluid of a subgroup of otherwise normal young smokers. It is possible that CEA might serve as a useful indicator of future airway disease in certain young smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-31
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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