Abnormal prothrombin (Des-γ-carboxy prothrombin) in hepatocellular carcinoma

A. Nakao, A. Virji, Y. Iwaki, B. Carr, S. Iwatsuki, E. Starzl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP), a protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II) was measured by an enzyme immunoassay (E-1023) using anti-DCP monoclonal antibody in 92 patients with various hepatobiliary diseases. Thirty-six of the 38 patients (94.7%) with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) had abnormal DCP levels greater than 0.1 arbitrary unit (AU)/ml, but only 18 of the 35 patients (51.4%) had AFP greater than 100ng/ml (suspicious levels for HCC). There was no correlation between plasma or serum DCP and serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels. Serum alpha fetoprotein was elevated (above 20ng/ml) in 23 of the 35 patients (65.7%), and DCP was elevated in all of the remaining 12 patients with normal AFP. DCP levels returned to normal levels following curative hepatic resection or orthotopic liver transplantation for HCC. DCP is a useful tumor marker in the diagnosis and postoperative monitoring of patients with HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-453
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Abnormal prothrombin
  • Des-γ-carboxy prothrombin PIVKA-II
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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