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Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP)

Lab area
Clinical Biochemistry - General
Method and equipment
Abbott Ci4100
Expected turn-around time
STAT/ Urgent: 6 hours Routine: 24 hours
Specimen type

Serum, Sodium/Lithium Heparin / EDTA plasma, Amniotic fluid

Specimen requirements

150 uL

Storage and transportation


Shipping information
The Hospital for Sick Children
Rapid Response Laboratory
555 University Avenue, Room 3642
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-7200
Toll Free: 1-855-381-3212
Hours: 7 days/week, 24 hours/day
Background and clinical significance

The discovery of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in fetal serum was first recorded by Bergstrand and Czar in 1956.

Alpha-fetoprotein is a single polypeptide chain glycoprotein with a molecular weight of approximately 70,000 daltons. It is secreted into fetal serum, reaching a peak at about 13 weeks gestation and gradually declining thereafter. Elevated serum AFP levels subsequently reappear during pregnancy and in conjunction with several malignant diseases

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