CA-125; a new marker for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with tuberculous peritonitis

Dig Liver Dis. 2000 Oct;32(7):595-7. doi: 10.1016/s1590-8658(00)80841-5.


Background: Most malignancies with peritoneal infiltration, especially ovarian cancers and chronic liver diseases associated with ascites give rise to high serum CA-125 levels. Tuberculous peritonitis is another cause for high serum CA-125 levels.

Aim: To investigate the relation between serum CA-125 level and response to treatment in tuberculous peritonitis patients.

Patients: Ten patients with tuberculous peritonitis were enrolled in the study.

Method: Definite diagnosis of tuberculous peritonitis was made by acid-fast smears, specific culture, and polymerase chain reaction. Serum CA-125 levels were measured before and at the fourth month of treatment.

Results: Before antituberculous treatment, serum CA-125 levels of all patients were very high (mean+/-SD: 475. 80+/-106. 19 U/ml) and comparable with those of patients with ovarian cancers. At the end of the fourth month of treatment, serum CA-125 levels in all patients decreased to within normal limits (<35 U/ml)(20.80:+/-5.18 U/ml) in parallel with the clinical improvement. The differences in CA125 levels before and after treatment were statistically significant (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Results of our study suggest that serum CA-125 levels in patients with tuberculous peritonitis are as high as ovarian cancers associated with peritoneal infiltration. By the end of the fourth month of antituberculous therapy, serum CA-125 levels have returned to normal. We, therefore, suggest that serum CA-125 can be used to evaluate the efficacy of therapy in tuberculous peritonitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications
  • Peritonitis / etiology
  • Peritonitis / immunology
  • Peritonitis, Tuberculous / diagnosis
  • Peritonitis, Tuberculous / drug therapy
  • Peritonitis, Tuberculous / immunology*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • CA-125 Antigen