Nigerian Medical Practitioner

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Alpha-fetoprotein, HCV and HBV infections in Nigerian patients with PHCC

S O Ola, G N Odaibo


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
AJOL African Journals Online