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.
Smith JB, Barker LF. a1-Fetoprotein and Liver-Specific Antigen in Viral Hepatitis Type B. Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(3):437-439. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320150111014