Background: Early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma is very important in the treatment which is feasible. Alpha-fetoprotein plus ultrasound in surveillance programs is controversial. GP73 is a protein. Golgi increase significantly in the sera of patients with hepatitis B virus and HCV-related HCC, providing a marker for its early detection. The aim is to detect serum Golgi protein 73 (GP73) in patients with cirrhosis and with hepatocellular carci-noma (HCC), and to determine its sensitivity and specificity as a screening tool for the detection of HCC.
Methods: A case control study was conducted in four groups of 32 participants each: 1- healthy controls; 2 - chronic liver disease; 3 - decompensated liver disease; 4 - HCC group. The HCC group included 25 males and 7 females with a mean age of 58 ± 7 years, fulfilling diagnostic criteria for HCC. GP73 was estimated in the serum samples taken from the HCC group and control groups.
Results: GP73 was elevated in patients with HCC and liver cirrhosis. Serum level was very high in HCC patients (p < 0.01) when compared with the other studied groups. GP73 had a sensitivity of 96.9% and specificity of 96.9% at a cutoff value of 17.5 ng/mL when compared with α-fetoprotein (AFP) that showed a sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 92% at a cutoff value of 9.4 ng/mL.
Conclusions: GP73 can be used as a screening tool for the detection of HCC with higher diagnostic performance than AFP.