Serum HE4 levels are less frequently elevated than CA125 in women with benign gynecologic disorders.


The human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) is a novel biomarker for ovarian cancer. This study measured the HE4 and CA125 levels in women with benign gynecological disorders.

Sera were obtained from women prior to surgery for a pelvic mass and HE4 and CA125 levels were determined. The proportions of patients with elevated biomarker levels were compared.

There were 1042 women with benign disease. HE4 levels were less often elevated than CA125 (8% vs 29%, P < .001). A marked difference was observed in patients with endometriosis in which HE4 was elevated in 3% of patients and CA125 in 67% (P < .0001). Serous ovarian tumors were associated with elevated levels of HE4 in 8% of patients and CA125 in 20% (P = .0002); uterine fibroids in 8% vs 26% (P = .0083); dermoids in 1% vs 21% (P = .0004); and inflammatory disease in 10% vs 37% (P = .014).

HE4 is elevated less frequently than CA125 in benign disease, particularly in premenopausal patients.

  • Bast RC
  • Lambert-Messerlian G
  • Lu KH
  • Miller MC
  • Moore RG
  • Skates SJ
  • Steinhoff MM
PubMed ID
Appears In
Am J Obstet Gynecol, 2012, 206 (4)