March 1974

a1-Fetoprotein and Liver-Specific Antigen in Viral Hepatitis Type B

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md; Rockville, Md

From the US Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Md (Dr. Smith), and the Bureau of Biologics, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md (Dr. Barker). Dr. Smith is now with University College London, England.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(3):437-439. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320150111014

Serial sera from 15 patients who had viral hepatitis type B were tested for α1-fetoprotein and liver-specific antigen (F antigen) to determine the relationship of these serum components to other events in the course of infection with hepatitis B virus. α1-Fetoprotein was present transiently at detectable levels in 11 patients, and F antigen was present transiently in five patients. Both AFP and F antigen were present in the sera of patients with transient hepatitis B antigen (HB Ag) as well as with persistent HB Ag. The time of F-antigen detection coincided with probable hepatocellular destruction, whereas α1-fetoprotein usually appeared later, at a time when active hepatocellular regeneration might be occurring.