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 Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Blood Test

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PostSubject: Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Blood Test   Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:47 am

Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Blood Test

What is alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test?
In which situations are high blood levels of AFP seen?
What tests are available for measuring AFP?
What is the sensitivity of AFP for diagnosing liver cancer?
Are there other liver cancer markers available for diagnosing liver cancer?

What is alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test?

The most widely used biochemical blood test is alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which is a protein normally made by the immature liver cells in the fetus. At birth, infants have relatively high levels of AFP, which fall to normal adult levels by the first year of life. Also, pregnant women carrying babies with neural tube defects may have high levels of AFP. (A neural tube defect is an abnormal fetal brain or spinal cord that is caused by folic acid deficiency during pregnancy.)
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