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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1998 Mar-Apr;15(2):135-42.

Alpha 1-fetoprotein (AFP) reference values in infants up to 2 years of age.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Children's Hospital, Heinrich Heine University Medical Centre, Düsseldorf, Germany.


The aim of this study was to establish reference values and factors associated with serum AFP elevation in infants. Five hundred twenty-four samples collected from infants up to the age of 2 years at the University Hospital Düsseldorf (Germany) were analyzed. At birth mean serum AFP levels were 41,687 ng/ml in 256 term babies and 158,125 ng/ml in 90 premature babies born before the 37th gestational week, excluding samples from children with factors known to be associated with AFP elevation. In the first 4 weeks of life, AFP levels decreased by 50% in 5.1 days in term babies. Between day 180 and 720 of life, AFP levels up to 87 ng/ml were within the 95.5% interval (assumed logarithmic normal distribution) with a mean of 8 ng/ml without a further decline. By the age of 2 years the infants of this study had not reached adult serum AFP levels (0-6 ng/ml).

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