Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of serum squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) in comparison with α-fetoprotein (AFP) in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Background HCC is the most common type of primary liver cancer and shows a growing incidence worldwide, related to the increased prevalence of various risk factors for chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis infection with hepatitis C and B viruses. Each year HCC is diagnosed in more than half a million people worldwide. Therefore, prompt diagnosis of HCC is imperative. Patients and methods This study was carried out at the Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, and Clinical Pathology Department, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, from June 2012 to November 2013. The study included 30 patients with liver cirrhosis and 30 patients with HCC, in addition to 17 unrelated healthy adults of matched age and sex who were included as controls. Serum AFP and serum SCCA level were estimated using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Results Although SCCA has more sensitivity than AFP in the detection of HCC, AFP remains a relatively good diagnostic marker for HCC, with high specificity. Conclusion AFP is a relatively good diagnostic test for cirrhosis with high specificity. Moreover, a combination of the two markers may improve sensitivity, making their combination a perfect screening test for the prediction of HCC.