Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignant tumor of the liver. The lack of efficient and precise HCC biomarkers prevents early detection resulting in a poor prognosis. Recently, mean platelet volume (MPV) and MPV/platelet count (PC) ratio have been proposed as potential markers of HCC. This study was carried out to verify MPV and MPV/PC ratio in diagnosis of HCC in Egyptian patients with chronic hepatitis C related liver cirrhosis. One hundred and fifty chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis or HCC were enrolled in the study. The levels of alphe feto protein (AFP), MPV and MPV/PC ratio were determined compared to 50 healthy persons. MPV and MPV/CP ratio were higher in patients with cirrhosis and those with HCC. The cut off level for MPV for detection of HCC was 10.1 fl, with sensitivity of 70% and specificity of 57%. At a cut off level of 0.82, the sensitivity of MPV/CP ratio was 79.6% and specificity was 72.7%. AFP showed sensitivity 80% and specificity 82% at cut-off level of 16.9 ng/dl. MPV and MPV/PC ratio are less sensitive and specific than AFP as markers for HCC; they may be used only in association with other markers to improve sensitivity of tumor detection.
Key words: Hepatocellular carcinoma, mean platelet volume, platelet count, cirrhosis, hepatitis C.
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