Alpha-fetoprotein, HCV and HBV infections in Nigerian patients with PHCC
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship of serum AFP with HBV and HCV infections among Nigerian patients with, Primary Hepato-Cellular Carcinoma . Forty-two Nigerian adults comprising of 3 groups – PHCC, Liver cirrhosis (LC) and Controls were recruited into the study. The findings showed that only nine (64%) of the 14 patients with PHCC had serum AFP >200iu/L with specificity, negative and positive predictive values of 100%, 90% and 100% respectively Serum HBsAg was detected in 71.4% of the patients with PHCC while 43% of the controls and 50% of the patients with LC had HBsAg in their sera. In addition, 14.3% of the controls, 28% of the patients with LC and 14.3% of those with PHCC were positive for anti-HCV. There was correlation between serum AFP and either HBV or HCV infection. Overall, the prevalence of serum HBsAg (54.8%) was higher than that of anti- HCV(19%) in all the subjects studied. In conclusion, the study shows that serum AFP is a useful marker for early diagnosis of PHCC in Nigerians especially in the presence of HBV or HCV infection.
Keywords: AFP, HCV, HBV infection, PHCC, Nigeria
The Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 51 (3) 2007: pp. 33-35