Early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma associated with cirrhosis by ultrasound and alfafetoprotein: a prospective study

Hepatogastroenterology. 1988 Jun;35(3):101-3.


A prospective surveillance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with cirrhosis, using alfafetoprotein (AFP) and real-time ultrasonography (US) was carried out in 157 patients with histologically proven cirrhosis. During a two-year follow-up, 15 asymptomatic HCCs were identified. HCCs detected by these methods were at a relatively early stage, as most tumors were small (13 out of 15 less than 5 cm). US was more sensitive than AFP in the diagnosis of HCC when values greater than 400 ng/ml were considered. Patients with initial AFP values greater than 20 ng/ml developed HCC within two years more frequently than patients with values less than 20 ng/ml. A combined approach using US and AFP is suggested in our geographical area.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography*
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / analysis*


  • alpha-Fetoproteins