Assessment of Child-Pugh score and tumor marker in cases of hepatocellular carcinoma
Palanirasu Rajapriya and Sivapatham Sundaresan
Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common neoplasm and the third most frequent cause of cancer death. HCC is the leading cause of death in compensated cirrhotics. Curative options are available if detected early. The existing biomarkers as well as the newly identified biomarkers have many limitations regarding their sensitivity and specificity. Aim of this study is to assess the tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and its association with Child–Pugh (CP) score in HCC patients.
Methods: We undertook a prospective observational study in patients diagnosed with HCC from October 2017 through February 2018. Blood samples were collected from 30 patients at Global Hospitals, Chennai. Serum was separated from the blood samples to perform laboratory investigations. Liver enzymes (ALP, ALT, AST & GGT) were determined for all samples. AFP and CP score were calculated.
Results: Out of 30 samples from HCC patients, 16 samples showed increase in AFP and not increased in 14 patients. Liver parameters were also elevated in tumor patients. Because of the wide spectrum of histologic appearance of HCC, the differential diagnosis between HCC and other tumors involving the liver can be challenging.
Conclusion: This study observes that the elevation of tumor marker AFP in 53.3% of HCC samples and also assess its significance association with CP score.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, alpha-fetoprotein, liver enzymes
Abbreviations: HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; AFP, alpha-fetoprotein; ALP, alkaline phosphatase; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; CP score, Child–Pugh score; GGT, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase; BCLC, barcelona clinic liver cancer