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FEBS Open Bio. 2015 Mar 26;5:240-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fob.2015.03.010. eCollection 2015.

Evaluation of the diagnostic value of alpha-l-fucosidase, alpha-fetoprotein and thymidine kinase 1 with ROC and logistic regression for hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Clinical Laboratory, Affiliated Fuding Hospital, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuding 355200, Fujian, China.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficiency for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with the combined analysis of alpha-l-fucosidase (AFU), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and thymidine kinase 1 (TK1). Serum levels of AFU, AFP and TK1 were measured in: 116 patients with HCC, 109 patients with benign hepatic diseases, and 104 normal subjects. The diagnostic value was analyzed using the logistic regression equation and receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC). Statistical distribution of the three tested tumor markers in every group was non-normally distributed (Kolmogorov-Sminov test, Z = 0.156-0.517, P < 0.001). The serum levels of AFP and TK1 in patients with HCC were significantly higher than those in patients with benign hepatic diseases (Mann-Whitney U test, Z = -8.570 to -5.943, all P < 0.001). However, there was no statistically significant difference of AFU between these two groups (Mann-Whitney U test, Z = -1.820, P = 0.069). The levels of AFU were significantly higher in patients with benign hepatic diseases than in normal subjects (Mann-Whitney U test, Z = -7.984, P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) in patients with HCC versus those without HCC indicated the optimal cut-off value was 40.80 U/L for AFU, 10.86 μg/L for AFP and 1.92 pmol/L for TK1, respectively. The area under ROC curve (AUC) was 0.718 for AFU, 0.832 for AFP, 0.773 for TK1 and 0.900 for the combination of the three tumor markers. The combination resulted in a higher Youden index and a sensitivity of 85.3%. The combined detection of serum AFU, AFP and TK1 could play a complementary role in the diagnosis of HCC, and could significantly improve the sensitivity for the diagnosis of HCC.


AFP, alpha-fetoprotein; AFU, alpha-l-fucosidase; AUC, area under receiver operating characteristic curve; Alpha-fetoprotein; CI, confidence interval; HBV, hepatitis B virus; HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; HCV, hepatitis C virus; HDV, hepatitis D virus; HEV, hepatitis E virus; HIV, human immunodeficiency virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; ROC curve; ROC, receiver operating characteristic curve; RPM, rotation per minute; SE, standard error; TK1, thymidine kinase 1; Thymidine kinase 1; α-l-Fucosidase

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