The serum tissue polypeptide antigen in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients

G. Leandro, S. Zizzari, A. Piccoli, O. G. Manghisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of our work was to assess the performance of tissue polypeptide antigen in detecting hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients, while also checking for any influence of liver dysfunction on the serum level of the marker. One hundred and twenty-five consecutive cirrhotic patients, 35 with and 90 without, hepatocellular carcinoma were studied. Tissue polypeptide antigen had a different distribution in the two groups and the best diagnostic accuracy with 48.6% sensitivity and 85.6% specificity was found at the cut-off value of 240 UL-1. In cirrhotic patients significant linear correlations were found between tissue polypeptide antigen and alanine-transaminase, aspartate-transaminase, G-glutamyl-transpeptidase and alkaline phosphatase; there was no correlation with bilirubin or pseudo-cholinesterase. In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma a significant linear correlation was found only with alanine and aspartate transaminase and G-glutamyl-transpeptidase. The analysis of covariance still showed a significant difference between mean tissue polypeptide antigen levels in the two groups also accounting for covariates. These results suggest that: a) the liver dysfunction may be involved in increasing tissue polypeptide antigen values; b) tissue polypeptide antigen has a different distribution in cirrhotic patients with and without hepatocellular carcinoma also accounting for covariates; these findings further support the specificity of tissue polypeptide antigen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-451
Number of pages3
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Tissue polypeptide antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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