Effectiveness of α-fetoprotein for hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance: The return of the living-dead?

Edoardo G. Giannini, Virginia Erroi, Franco Trevisani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluation of: Singal AG, Conjeevaram HS, Volk ML et al. Effectiveness of hepatocellular surveillance in patients with cirrhosis. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 21(5), 793-799 (2012). The evaluated article assesses the effectiveness in clinical practice of surveillance with ultrasound (US) and α-fetoprotein (AFP) in patients at risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. After a median follow-up of 3.5 years, among the 442 enrolled patients with cirrhosis, 41 developed tumor (annual incidence, 2.8%). Twenty-three hepatocellular carcinomas were diagnosed at Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer early stage (single tumor 20ng/ml. Specificity was 91.5% for US and 90.5% for AFP. The combination of the tests increased the sensitivity to 90.2%, with a small decrease in specificity (83.3%). In a real-world setting, the combination of US and AFP would be the most effective for hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-444
Number of pages4
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • α-fetoprotein
  • cirrhosis
  • diagnosis
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • surveillance
  • ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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