A Case of Elevated Alpha-Fetoprotein and Acute Liver Failure Due to Use of Herbal Medicine

Mohsen Reza Mansoorian, Seyed Yahya Zarghami, Elham Sobhrakhshankhah, Mahdi Sabouri Sabouri, Iman Ekramnia, Shahriar Sabouri


Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a serum glycoprotein created during gestation and is produced from the fetal liver and yolk sac. In some cases, AFP elevation has been associated with chronic and acute liver diseases and a limited number of cancers. AFP is a useful tumor marker in tumor diagnosis. This study presents a 46-year-old woman with no remarkable medical history who developed acute liver failure (ALF) due to the use of over-the-counter herbal medicine and was referred to our hospital for liver transplantation (LT). Imaging evaluations and laboratory test results demonstrated no evidence of malignancy or carcinoma. After LT, the histopathological report revealed no evidence of malignancy. The AFP level led into the normal range within 1 week after surgery. An increase in AFP serum level often occurs after cancer and malignancy, but in some cases, it can also occur after non-cancerous diseases. As we reported in this case, the increase in AFP occurred after ALF and returned to its normal range after LT.


Acute liver failure, Alpha-fetoprotein, Tumor markers, Carcinoma

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