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With advances in lectin affinity electrophoresis of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), the detection of significant changes in serum AFP at low levels in cirrhotics has become important for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma. Serum AFP levels of 616 healthy individuals without abnormal liver function tests or virus markers of hepatitis B and C were determined by enzyme immunoassay with IMx-AFP Dainapack using automated IMx apparatus set at twice the ordinary sensitivity and compared with those of 241 individuals with abnormal liver function tests and/or positive hepatitis virus markers. The coefficient of variation in this assay was less than 10% at AFP levels as low as 0.2 ng/ml with a lower detection limit of 0.1 ng/ml. The AFP level of healthy population showed a Gaussian distribution curve after logarithmic transformation with a median and 2.5-97.5 percentile reference range of 2.2 (0.6-5.6) ng/ml. There was no significant difference in the AFP level between males and females. Individuals with abnormal liver function tests alone showed no significant increase in serum AFP unless they were associated with positive hepatitis virus markers.
healthy japanese adults
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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