Ca-125: A Useful Marker to Distinguish Pulmonary Tuberculosis from Other Pulmonary Infections

J Fortún*, 1, P Martín-Dávila1, R Méndez1, A Martínez1, F Norman1, J Rubi2, E Pallares2, E Gómez-Mampaso3, S Moreno1
1 Infectious Diseases Department Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain
2 Biochemistry Department, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain
3 Microbiology Department, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 3966
Abstract HTML Views: 4266
PDF Downloads: 946
Total Views/Downloads: 9178
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1470
Abstract HTML Views: 2193
PDF Downloads: 639
Total Views/Downloads: 4302

Creative Commons License
© Fortún et al. Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Servicio de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Crtra Colmenar km 9,1, 28034 Madrid, Spain; E-mail:



Ca-125 is secreted by different celomic epitheliums. Serum levels may be increased in malignant diseases, like ovarian cancer but also in other medical conditions, such as pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis.


From Jan-04 to Dec-06 a retrospective study analyzing Ca-125 levels in serum samples from patients with a diagnosis of pulmonary TB, was performed. These results were compared with those samples obtained from patients with non-TB pulmonary infections.


Eighty-nine patients were included in the study, thirty-five with pulmonary TB and 54 with other respiratory infections. In patients with TB, the mean Ca-125 value was 104.9 IU/ml (SD: ± 136.1). In the control group, mean value was 27.1 IU/ml (SD: ±19.7). The optimal cut-off for pulmonary tuberculosis was 32.5 IU/ml (sensitivity: 68.6%, specificity: 77.8%). Pulmonary TB was the only factor associated with a Ca-125 level >32.5. In 10 patients with TB, Ca-125 levels were available ≥ 2 months after starting TB therapy and a decrease during treatment was shown.


Ca-125 values increase in patients with pulmonary TB and decline to normal values during treatment. Determination of Ca 125 may be usedin patients with a negative sputum AFB stain.

Keywords: Ca-125, tuberculosis, pneumonia..