HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA (HCC) AND DIAGNOSTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF -FETOPROTEIN (AFP)
AbstractBackground: Alpha-fetoprotein (-fetoprotein, AFP) is a Glycoprotein, belonging to theintriguing class of onco-development protein. Generally designated as tumour marker, AFP isrecognized as an important blood component, having specific diagnostic utilities Elevation ofits level up to pathological range in adults correlate with the appearance of several malignantand chronic conditions, such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and chronic liver disease,respectively. Methods: To evaluate the diagnostic significance of AFP in HCC, a study wascarried out for a period of two years (Jan 2004 to Dec 2005) A brief history of Patients wastaken with clinical symptoms and signs and initial diagnosis. Patients admitted in wards orvisiting OPDs with diagnosis or suspicions of HCC and additional conditions of ChronicLiver disease (CLDs), hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B viral (HBV) infections, wereselected and classified according to gender. When confirmed, their HCC status was evaluatedand classified according to clinical condition. Results: In 1012 adults including, males 762(75.3%) and females 250 (24.7%) patients suspected of or diagnosed with HCC and presenceof HBV and HCV infections. Out of 480 males, who depicted elevated AFP levels, 39(8.13%) were diagnosed with HCC. Similarly, 7 (5.34%) females out of 131 with elevatedlevels of AFP were diagnosed with HCC. Mean elevated AFP levels in all HCC patients were,42159 µg/ml (range 157–4019 µg/ml) in males and 16332 µg/ml (range 101–2341 µg/ml)in females. In males, the overall estimated mean AFP elevated values were analysed to be 514µg/ml (range 67–4019±59 µg/ml,), whereas in females it was 396±42 µg/ml (range 21–2341µg/ml). It was also noted that 43 (8.96%) males and 7 (5.34%) female patients, exhibitedelevated levels of AFP, however, found negative for HCV and HBV infections. Conclusion:It is concluded that AFP is a significant markers for Hepatocellular carcinoma, helpful inassessing problems in management of HCC and monitoring treatment regiments. In addition,AFP is also an indicator of HCC risks mostly in patients with cirrhosis and HCV/HBVinfectionsKeywords: AFP, Hepatocellular carcinoma HCC, Hepatitis infections HCV, HBV
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