|Fasting or Non-fasting||Non-fasting|
|Turnaround Time for Results|
The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test measures the amount of alpha-fetoprotein in the blood. Alpha-fetoprotein is produced by the liver but can also be made by various tumors. The measurement of alpha-fetoprotein levels in the blood can be used to diagnose or monitor certain liver diseases or cancers.
The alpha-fetoprotein test is a simple blood test collected via venipuncture. The levels are reported as micrograms per liter (mcg/L). Typically, alpha-fetoprotein levels in the blood are below 40 mcg/L.
Elevated alpha-fetoprotein levels can result from:
- Cancer in the testes, ovaries, biliary tract, stomach or pancreas
- Liver diseases, such as cirrhosis or cancer
Am I required to fast for this test?
No, you do not need to fast for this test. However, if you are concurrently having another test done that requires fasting, you need to fast for that test as indicated.
What are normal levels?
Typically, alpha-fetoprotein levels in the blood are below 40 mcg/L. The normal values can vary depending on the laboratory. The exact range will be indicated on your report.
What are abnormal levels?
Elevated alpha-fetoprotein levels can indicate cancer or liver disorder. Alpha-fetoprotein levels are also normally elevated during pregnancy.
Why do I need it?
If you want to assess your risk of cancer or liver disorder, you may consider taking this test. The test may also be done to monitor existing conditions.
What type of doctor should I see if results are abnormal?
See your primary health care provider who may refer you to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist or oncologist.