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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Jul;24(7):849-56. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3283535c34.

Clinical characteristics and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma with different sets of serum AFP and PIVKA-II levels.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College, Seoul, Korea.



α-Fetoprotein (AFP) and prothrombin induced by the absence of vitamin K or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II) are useful tumor markers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is known about the clinical characteristics and prognosis of HCC with different levels of AFP and PIVKA-II.


Consecutive 1447 HCC patients were assigned to four groups according to the cutoff values of AFP (400 ng/ml) and PIVKA-II (100 mAU/ml): both values high (AP), one of the values high (Ap and aP), and both values low (ap). The clinical characteristics and the prognosis of group ap were compared with those of the other groups.


HCC patients in group ap were more asymptomatic at diagnosis, and had smaller size, fewer numbers, and earlier stages of HCC, and more preserved liver functions (all, P<0.001). The survival rate of group ap was significantly higher than those of the other groups (P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, the combined status of AFP and PIVKA-II values were independent predictors for survival (P<0.001), together with tumor size, number, portal vein thrombosis, Child-Pugh class, and treatment modality.


HCC patients with low values of both AFP and PIVKA-II had more favorable clinical characteristics and showed a better prognosis than those with elevated levels of AFP or PIVKA-II.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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