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Clin Chem. 2002 Dec;48(12):2195-201.

Diagnostic accuracy of alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein fucosylation for liver cirrhosis in patients undergoing hepatic biopsy.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, Kalmar County Hospital, SE 39185 Kalmar, Sweden.



Increased fucosylation of serum glycoproteins has previously been reported in patients with liver disease. We analyzed alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein (AGP) fucosylation in serum samples from patients investigated for suspected liver disease to evaluate its value as a biochemical marker for liver cirrhosis.


We used a novel lectin immunoassay adapted to the AutoDELFIA system to analyze AGP fucosylation in 261 consecutive patients admitted for liver biopsy at Malmö University Hospital in Southern Sweden. The results were compared with histopathologic findings. In addition, AGP fucosylation was compared with other biochemical markers described as useful in the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. The biochemical markers were compared by ROC curve analysis.


AGP fucosylation was significantly (P <0.05) higher in patients with liver cirrhosis (n = 65) than in healthy controls (n = 72), patients with normal histology (n = 29), patients with steatosis only (n = 38), patients with viral or chronic hepatitis without cirrhosis (n = 71), and patients with other liver diseases without histologic signs of cirrhosis (n = 58). By calculating the AGP fucosylation index (AGP-FI = AGP fucosylation/AGP serum concentration), we obtained a high diagnostic accuracy. The areas under the ROC curves for AGP-FI were 0.83 and 0.74 for men and women, respectively, compared with 0.82 for hyaluronic acid and 0.77 for the aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio in both men and women.


AGP fucosylation appears to be useful in identifying patients with liver cirrhosis among patients investigated for liver disease. The lectin immunoassay showed satisfactory reproducibility and is suitable for routine use in a clinical laboratory.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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