Differential diagnosis of liver diseases using serum biomarkers

Ivona Baricevic-Jones, Danica Cujic, S. Golubovic, Z. Bojic-Trbojevic, N. Ilic, I. Baricevic, O. Nedic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Many human blood proteins are synthesised in the liver. Their serum levels may decrease or increase due to liver disorders and some of them serve as useful biomarkers. Determination of serum concentration of different biomarkers has important role in diagnosis of liver diseases and in monitoring the course of disease. In this work 3 serum markers associated with liver disorders were compared. The aim was to assess whether these biomarkers exhibit specific distribution pattern in different types of liver disease: liver neoplasia (primary hepatocellular carcinoma [HC] or meta-static liver disease [MLD] from colon cancer), viral hepatitis C (HCV) and the parasitic infection echinococcosis. Methods: Serum concentrations of a-fetoprotein (AFP), ferritin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) were determined in patients with liver disease and compared between patient groups and with healthy persons. Results: Serum AFP and ferritin levels exhibited similar pattern of change inpatients with liver neoplasia or HCV, and concentrations of these 2 markers were significantly increased compared to the control group (p <0.01 in each case). On the other hand, the concentration of IGF-I was significantly deaeased in patients with liver neoplasia or echinococcosis compared to the control group (p <0.05 for both). The concentration of IGF-I was significantly lower and the concentration of ferritin significantly higher in patients with HC than in patients with MLD from colorectal cancer (p <0.01 for both). Conclusion: The results have shown that each hepatic pathology studied exhibited specific profile of the analysed set of biomarkers. Therefore, the simultaneous determination of the 3 mentioned biomarkers may help in differential diagnosis of liver diseases. © 2010 Zerbinis Medical Publications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-146
    Number of pages5
    JournalBalkan Union of Oncology. Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • AFP
    • Echinococcosis
    • Ferritin
    • IGF-I
    • Liver neoplasia
    • Viral hepatitis


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