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J Hepatol. 1987 Aug;5(1):27-9.

Specificity of increased des-gamma-carboxyprothrombin in hepatocellular carcinoma after vitamin K1 injection.

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Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine, Paris, France.


The des-gamma-carboxyprothrombin (DCP) level was found to be increased in the majority of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). This increase has to be distinguished from an increased DCP level linked to a vitamin K deficiency. We studied the evolution of increased DCP level in 6 patients with histologically proven HCC and in 10 without HCC after slow injection of 20 mg of vitamin K1. The DCP assays performed subsequent to the vitamin K1 injection showed: first, a durable normalisation of the DCP level in the patients without HCC, suggesting that the increased DCP was linked, in them, to an underlying vitamin K deficiency; second, a transitory decrease followed by a return to the abnormal level in the patients with HCC. We can conclude that an increased DCP level which persists following vitamin K1 injection is specific for HCC. The minimal delay for the DCP assay after vitamin K1 injection seems to be 15 days.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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