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Niger Med J. 2013 Nov;54(6):426-9. doi: 10.4103/0300-1652.126302.

Serum alpha-fetoprotein level is higher in hepatitis C than hepatitis B infected chronic liver disease patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Kano, Nigeria ; Department of Chemical Pathology Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.
  • 2Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Kano, Nigeria.
  • 3Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.
  • 4Department of Medical Microbiology Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The frequency of raised serum alpha-fetoprotein may vary in relation to hepatitis B or C infection in chronic liver disease (CLD). The study evaluated the frequency of hepatitis B and C in patients with chronic liver disease and correlated the levels of serum alpha-fetoprotein with hepatitis B and C infection in the patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Eighty-six patients with CLD were recruited for the study. Fifty subjects, with no CLD were used as control. Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis C antibody were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique (Human diagnostics, Germany and HCV Murex 40 Anhet laboratories, USA) while liver function tests were evaluated using express plus chemistry auto analyzer. Alpha-fetoprotein was assayed using ELECSYS 1010 auto analyser.

RESULTS:

There were 60 males and 26 females, with a mean age of 46 + 6.5 years, while the controls were 25 males and 25 females with a mean age of 41 ± 2.5 years. Thirty-six subjects (41.7%) were seropositive for HBsAg while 24 (27.9%) were seropositive for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) antibody. The mean alpha fetoprotein level was 359 ± 9.9 ng/mL while mean control value was 1.93 ± 0.24 ng/mL. Liver function test parameters were elevated compared with control subjects (P < 0.001). The increase in serum alpha-fetoprotein was higher (P < 0.001) in HCV than HBsAg positive patients.

CONCLUSION:

Serum alpha-fetoprotein level was highest in HCV compared to HBsAg positive and hepatitis negative patients with CLD.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha fetoprotein; HBsAg; HCV antibody; chronic liver disease

PMID:
24665160
PMCID:
PMC3948968
DOI:
10.4103/0300-1652.126302
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