noun[mass noun] Medicine
A protein produced by a fetus which is present in amniotic fluid and the bloodstream of the mother. Levels of the protein can be measured to detect certain congenital defects such as spina bifida and Down’s syndrome.
- There is a marked rise in the levels of alphafetoprotein when the foetus has spina bifida.
- It has a detection rate for Down's syndrome comparable with the more commonly used second-trimester screening using four serum markers (alphafetoprotein, [beta] hCG, unconjugated estriol, inhibin-A).
- Immunohistochemistry showed that the tumor cells were diffusely reactive to alphafetoprotein, alpha 1, antitrypsin, and cytokeratin.
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