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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

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Interchangeability of measurements of CA 19-9 in serum with four frequently used assays: an update

Rita Passerini1 / Daniela Riggio2 / Michela Salvatici3 / Laura Zorzino4 / Davide Radice5 / Maria Teresa Sandri6







Corresponding author: Rita Passerini, DSc, Laboratory Medicine Unit, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, 20141 Milan, Italy Phone: +39-02-57489348, Fax: +39-02-57489417,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 100–104, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2007.003, January 2007

Publication History

June 16, 2006
September 28, 2006
Published Online:


Background: CA 19-9 is a marker principally related to pancreatic and gall bladder cancer. Although its determination has no value in screening for these malignancies, it is used in post-operative monitoring and during chemotherapeutic treatment of confirmed disease. Measurements during follow-up must be comparable and must be performed with standard, validated methods.

Methods: We compared four routinely used analytical systems for CA 19-9 determination: the Architect i2000 and AxSYM systems from Abbott Laboratories, the Elecsys 1010 from Roche Diagnostics, and the KRYPTOR system from Brahms Diagnostics. We evaluated the analytical performance of the four systems and compared measurements of CA 19-9 values, which covered the whole analytical range.

Results: The analytical performance and accuracy of the four systems were fairly good, but Passing-Bablok regression and mountain plots showed significant differences in CA 19-9 values measured with the four platforms.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that during tumor follow-up, the use of the same system is appropriate to avoid the risk of a variation due to the method rather than the disease. Moreover, whenever a change in analytical equipment is required, careful analysis of CA 19-9 results must be undertaken.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:100–4.

Keywords: analytical performance; CA 19-9 determination; comparability; tumor marker

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