Definition of alpha-fetoprotein in US English:



  • A protein produced by a fetus that 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 syndrome.

    • ‘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).’
    • ‘The test you describe is a simple blood test which can be evaluated for something called maternal serum alphafetoprotein.’
    • ‘Immunohistochemistry showed that the tumor cells were diffusely reactive to alphafetoprotein, alpha 1, antitrypsin, and cytokeratin.’
    • ‘The aims of this study were: To examine the presence of alphafetoprotein bearing tumour cells in PBSC harvests from advanced GCT patients obtained after multiple cycles of induction chemotherapy.’
    • ‘There is a marked rise in the levels of alphafetoprotein when the foetus has spina bifida.’