Differential Expression and Diagnostic Significance of Pre-Albumin, Fibrinogen Combined with D-Dimer in AFP-Negative Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most malignant cancers with high morbidity and mortality. Nowadays, AFP-negative hepatocellular carcinoma (AFP-NHCC) has been found in many HCC patients and AFP analysis can’t be used to screen HCC in these cases. In this study, we have examined the expression patterns of pre-albumin (PA), fibrinogen, D-Dimer and their clinical significance in AFP-NHCC. We recruited 214 AFP-NHCC patients and 210 controls in the study. PA, fibrinogen and D-Dimer levels were detected by turbidimetry, clauss and immunoturbidimetry methods, respectively. Serum PA levels were significantly lower in AFP-NHCC (84.5 ± 24.7 mg/L) than that in the controls (240.6 ± 59.4 mg/L, P < 0.05). For plasma fibrinogen levels, there was no difference between the controls (2.9 ± 0.7 g/L) and AFP-NHCC (2.5 ± 0.7 g/L). Compared with AFP-NHCC (0.8 ± 0.2 mg/L), plasma D-Dimer levels were significantly lower in controls (0.1 ± 0.0 mg/L, P < 0.05). The levels of PA, fibrinogen and D-Dimer were significantly correlated with differentiation (P < 0.01), and the PA and D-Dimer values were correlated with TNM stage (P < 0.05). Moreover, PA levels were correlated with tumor size (P = 0.034). Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analyses elaborated that combination of PA, fibrinogen and D-Dimer possessed a higher sensitivity (93.4%) for differentiating AFP-NHCC from the controls, but the diagnostic specificity was reduced due to the combination of fibrinogen. After adjusting for all significant outcome predictors of the univariate logistic regression analysis, low levels of PA and high levels of D-Dimer were remained independent unfavorable outcome predictors (P < 0.05). Our data suggested that the expression levels of PA, fibrinogen and D-Dimer played critical roles in AFP-NHCC tumorigenesis. Moreover, PA and D-Dimer might be considered as potential diagnostic indicators in AFP-NHCC.

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Correspondence to Wei Jing.

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Jing, W., Peng, R., Zhu, M. et al. Differential Expression and Diagnostic Significance of Pre-Albumin, Fibrinogen Combined with D-Dimer in AFP-Negative Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Pathol. Oncol. Res. 26, 1669–1676 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12253-019-00752-8

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Keywords

  • Pre-albumin
  • Fibrinogen
  • D-Dimer
  • AFP-negative hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Diagnosis