Abstract. – BACKGROUND: Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a wide spectrum of liver disorders ranging from simple steatosis (SS) to cirrhosis. In addition, increasing evidence indicates that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may represent a late complication of NAFLD. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) serum levels can rise in adults with HCC. AIM: In the present study, we aimed to investigate circulating AFP concentrations in subjects with histologically proven NAFLD. In addition, the relationship of AFP with liver histology was also searched. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and three male NAFLD patients and 57 healthy male controls were enrolled in the study. In addition, patients with NAFLD grouped as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (n = 72) and SS (n = 31). AFP serum levels were measured in duplicate by the chemiluminescence’s method. RESULTS: Age and gender were similar in subjects with NAFLD and controls. AFP serum levels were not different between two groups. In subgroup analysis, AFP levels were also found to be similar in patients with NASH and SS. Moreover, no significant relationship was found between AFP and histopathological findings in patients with NAFLD. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this preliminary study suggest that AFP is not involved in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.
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