Stains & CD markers
CEA / CD66e

Last author update: 1 November 2014
Last staff update: 12 May 2022

Copyright: 2003-2022,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CEA[title]

Related topics: General, CD66b, CD66c, CD66d, CD66f

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. CEA / CD66e. website. Accessed May 18th, 2022.
Definition / general
  • Also called CEA, carcinoembryonic antigen and CEACAM5
  • Either polyclonal (pCEA) or monoclonal (mCEA)
  • Normally detected in glycocalyx of fetal epithelial cells
  • May play a role in the metastasis of cancer cells
  • Usually considered an epithelial marker with strong staining in adenocarcinomas
Case reports
Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.

C cells in relation to thyroid follicle

Clustered C cells

Cervical adenoid cystic carcinoma

Images hosted on other servers:

Breast adenoid cystic carcinoma (fig 13)

Colon inverted
hyperplastic polyp
(normal colon at
upper right is CEA-)

metastatic to
colon (fig 4)

Medullary thyroid carcinoma (fig 7)

Paget disease of vulva (fig 11)

Secretory meningioma (left, fig 10; right, fig 11)

Various images: quality control

Cytology images

Images hosted on other servers:


Positive staining - normal
  • Granulocytes and epithelial cells (apical surfaces)
  • Also biliary tract including gallbladder, colon (fetal), hepatocytes, prostatic secretory cells (25%) and small intestinal crypts
  • Small intestinal goblet cell mucin (not intracytoplasmic), thyroid cell nests and C cells
Positive staining - tumors
Negative staining
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