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July 7, 1975

α-Fetoprotein in Nonneoplastic Hepatic Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Yale University of Medicine, New Haven, Conn (Drs. B(Drs. Bloomer andtabolism Branch and Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MInstitute, Bethesda, Md (Drs. McIntire).er isIan Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

JAMA. 1975;233(1):38-41. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260010040018

Serum α-fetoproteinmeasuredwere measured by radioimmunoassay in patpatients with biopsy-proved nonneoplastic hepatic disorders; 22% had values greater than 40 ng/ml, whereas only 1 of 350 patients with nonhepatic benign diseases had a value greater than this. Levels exceeded 40 ng/ml in more than 30% of patients with various types of hepatitis, and in 0% to 15% with inactive postnecrotic cirrhosis, primary biliary cirrhosis, biliary tract ob-astruction, and alcoholic liver disease. Values greater than 500 ng/ml were observed solely in viral subacute hepatic necrosis. Only one patient had a level exceeding 3,000 ng/ml, the concentration at which α-fetoprotein is detectable by agar-gel diffusion. Of 75 patients with hepatoma, serum α-fetoprotein levels exceeded 40 ng/ml in 69%, and exceeded 3,000 ng/ml in 48%. These studies indicate that serum protein levels exlevels are elevated in severalenonneoplastic hepatic disorders when a sensitive assay is used; this phenomenon may reflect hepatic regeneration.serum α-fetoproteinlevated in several nonneoplastic hepatic disorders when a sensitive assay is used; this s used; this ph reflect hepatic regeneration.

(JAMA ation. (JAMA 233