Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Alpha Fetoprotein (Non-Pregnancy), Plasma/Serum

Test Name: Alpha Fetoprotein (Non-Pregnancy), Plasma/Serum
Alternate Name(s): Alphafetoprotein
Laboratory: Core
Specimen Type: Adult:
4.5 mL Light Green top (Li-Heparin) Vacutainer tube

0-2 years: 0.5 mL Light Green top (Li-Heparin) Microtainer
2-10 years: 3 mL Light Green top (Li-Heparin) Vacutainer tube

Red, Gold, or Lavender (EDTA) top tubes are also acceptable
Collection Information: Minimum volume of plasma or serum required is 700 L for adult samples or 200 L for pediatric samples.
Test Schedule: As required
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
4 hours
Reference Range: > 5 years: ≤ 7 g/L

Literature indicates that from birth to 1 month of age, expected AFP values are up to 18,964 g/L for girls and up to 16,387 g/L for boys. From 1 month to 12 months of age, expected values are up to 77 g/L for girls and up to 28 g/L for boys. The AFP level continues to fall slowly until adult levels are reached at about 5 years of age.
Effective Date: 2017-04-03
Revised Date: 2018-08-17
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Used as a tumour marker for non-seminomatous germ cell tumours and hepatocellular carcinoma. Not recommended for cancer screening in the general population.

Levels can also be increased in other diseases such as acute viral hepatitis, chronic active hepatitis, and liver cirrhosis.

Alpha fetoprotein is increased in pregnancy and is a part of prenatal maternal serum screening for Down syndrome and open neural tube defects (see Maternal Serum Screen).
Special Processing:  
Comments: Biotin may interfere with this test. Samples should not be taken from patients receiving high biotin doses (i.e. > 5 mg/day) until at least 8 hours after the last biotin administration.
Method of Analysis: Roche Electrochemiluminescence
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment:  
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul