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Acta Med Okayama. 2002 Dec;56(6):317-20.

Evaluation of tumor markers for the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma in Yangon General Hospital, Myanmar.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Ibara City Hospital, Ibara 715-0019, Japan.


Levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), its glycoforms AFP-L3 and AFP-P4, and proteins induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II) were determined in sera obtained from patients in Yangon General Hospital (20 with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 29 with chronic liver diseases, including 3 with chronic hepatitis and 26 with cirrhosis of the liver, and 9 with other hepatobiliary diseases). Forty-five percent of the patients with HCC had serum AFP levels above 10,000 ng/ml, indicating that nearly half of the HCC patients were at an advanced stage of the disease. Thus, the AFP sensitivity was as high as 70% with 100% specificity for a cutoff level of 200 ng/ml. The sensitivity of AFP-L3 was 75% and a specificity 90% for a cutoff level of 15%. AFP-P4 showed a higher sensitivity of 80% and a similar specificity of 86% for a cutoff level of 12%. Combined evaluation of AFP-L3 and/or AFP-P4 increased the sensitivity to 90% with the same specificity of 86%, indicating that AFP-L3 and AFP-P4 are useful as adjuncts for diagnosis of HCC in the present population. PIVKA-II had a high sensitivity of 90%, although the specificity was lower than 45%, probably due to the low cutoff level, as some cholestatic patients were included in the control group.

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