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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 312-316

Diagnostic accuracy of lectin-reactive α-fetoprotein (AFP-L3) in the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma

Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Marwa Mohiy Eldin Abdel Rahman
Benha University, Benha, 55555
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bmfj.bmfj_33_18

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Background Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most malignant neoplasms. It has a very poor prognosis because the diagnosis is very late. Therefore, early detection is important in the management of this neoplasm. α-fetoprotein (AFP)-L3 has been recommended as a marker for early-stage HCC in many countries all over the world. Aim The aim was to evaluate the potential clinical value of lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive AFP-L3 against total AFP in the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus-related HCC and to evaluate its role in disease diagnosis. Materials and methods This study included 40 patients who were diagnosed as hepatocellular carcinoma (diagnosis was based on the BCLC staging classification), 20 patients with chronic liver disease, and 20 healthy subjects as a control group. Results Results showed that there was a significant positive correlation between each of serum AFP and AFP-L3 and each of tumor size and tumor number among patients with HCC. The median value of both serum AFP-L3 and AFP-L3/AFP ratio was significantly higher in patients with HCC group when compared with patients with chronic liver disease and normal control individuals. Receiver operator characteristic curves were constructed for serum AFP, AFP-L3, and AFP-L3/AFP ratio as predictors of HCC. Serum AFP-L3 had the largest area under the curve. The best cut-off point for AFP as predictor of HCC was 128 ng/ml [sensitivity 75%, specificity 100%, positive predictive value (PPV) 100%, negative predictive value (NPV) 66.7%, and efficacy 83.3%]. The best cut-off point for AFP-L3 as predictor of HCC was 23 ng/ml (sensitivity 97.5%, specificity 100%, PPV 100%, NPV 95.2%, and efficacy 98.3%). The best cut-off point for AFP-L3/AFP ratio was 16% (sensitivity 97.5%, specificity 100%, PPV 100%, NPV 95.2%, and efficacy 98.3%). Conclusion In conclusion, AFP-L3 is a promising marker for diagnosis of HCC especially when combined with AFP, as the diagnostic sensitivity was optimum, so both markers can be used in the screening of HCC.

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