Author(s): Kuromatsu R, Tanaka M, Tanikawa K
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Abstract A fraction of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) reactive with lens culinaris agglutinin (LCA) was measured by affinity chromatography in serum samples from 102 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 48 patients with chronic liver diseases without HCC. Its usefulness as a marker of HCC was evaluated. The mean +/- SD percentage of this fraction in total AFP was 3.10 +/- 3.17\% in 48 patients with chronic liver diseases without HCC. When the cut-off level was set at 12.6\% (mean + 3 SD), the sensitivity was 36.3\%, the specificity was 100\%, and the accuracy was 56.7\% in the 102 patients with HCC. This lentil lectin-reactive AFP was positive in 7 of 25 patients (28\%) who had single small liver cancer (phi < 20 mm), suggesting its clinical usefulness as a tumor marker. The lentil lectin-reactive AFP showed no correlation with the serum concentration of AFP or des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP). In patients with HCC showing an AFP level of 20 ng/ml or above, the lentil lectin-reactive fraction is a highly specific tumor marker. We consider it to be useful as an adjunct in the diagnosis of HCC.
This article was published in Liver
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology