High α-fetoprotein level in HCV-related nodular liver cell dysplasia


ABSTRACTThe diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma is generally made in patients with a mass lesion in the cirrhotic liver if the α-fetoprotein level is >1,000 ng/L. Other causes of elevation of α-fetoprotein to this extreme degree include nonseminomatous germ cell tumor and hepatic metastasis. However, it is extremely rare for benign hepatic lesions to cause α-fetoprotein of >1,000 ng/ml. We report a Chinese patient with spontaneous normalization of α-fetoprotein with an initial value >10,000 ng/ml due to nodular dysplasia complicating hepatitis C-related liver cirrhosis. The α-fetoprotein was secreted from the dysplastic liver cells.


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