Patrick M. Dunn, MD; Mark McKinstry, MD
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To the Editor: Pleskow and colleagues (1) suggest that the serologic marker, CA 19-9, "can be used in combination with a single imaging modality to achieve high diagnostic accuracy in patients with suspected pancreatic cancer." We have two concerns about the clinical utility of CA 19-9: First, we do not believe it will be useful in most patients being evaluated for pancreatic cancer; second, the value chosen by the authors to distinguish normal from abnormal is not optimal.
Patients suspected of having a pancreatic malignancy require the most definitive test possible, given the significant implications of the diagnosis. A marker
Dunn PM, McKinstry M. CA19-9 and Pancreatic Cancer. Ann Intern Med. ;111:343. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-111-4-343_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(4):343.
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