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Arab J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jun;13(2):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ajg.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Clinical significance of elevated alpha-foetoprotein (AFP) in patients with chronic hepatitis C without hepatocellular carcinoma in upper EGYPT.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Assiut University Hospital, Assiut, Egypt. yamany1@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS:

Egypt has the highest prevalence of hepatitis C in the world. Alpha-foetoprotein (AFP) is important in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but elevated AFP levels have also been observed in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) without HCC. We evaluated the clinical correlation between elevated AFP levels and CHC. We analysed data from a population-based cohort of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to assess the prevalence of elevated serum AFP, to determine its association with clinical and virologic parameters and with clinical outcomes.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

From December 2009 to April 2011, 121 patients with no evidence of HCC with regular abdominal ultrasound or other imaging studies (multislice computed tomography (MSCT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) were controlled by a chart review.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of elevated AFP ≥10ngml(-1) was 11.6%. Univariate analysis revealed that fibrosis stage III/IV, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) more than 45IUl(-1) and platelet count less than 150×10(9) l(-1) were significantly associated with elevated AFP. Multivariate analysis revealed that the independent variable associated with elevated serum AFP was fibrosis stage III/IV, p=0.015. Multivariate analysis also revealed that AST>45IUl(-1) and AFP ≥10 ngml(-1) were associated with advanced fibrosis using a cut-off AFP value >10 ngml(-1). The sensitivity and specificity of diagnosing fibrosis score III/IV were 26.1% and 97.3%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Elevated AFP levels were observed in 11.65% of patients with CHC. Elevated AFP levels correlated positively with fibrosis stage III/IV; ALT elevation, thrombocytopenia and AFP ≥10 ngml(-1) were associated with advanced fibrosis.

PMID:
22980591
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajg.2012.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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