A protein produced in the gut and liver of the FETUS. Abnormality in the fetus, such as neural tube defect, may result in raised levels of alphafeto protein in the maternal blood. In DOWN’S (DOWN) SYNDROME, levels may be abnormally low. In either case, screening of the pregnancy should be carried out, including AMNIOCENTESIS to check the amount of alpha-feto protein in the amniotic ﬂuid. The protein may also be produced in some abnormal tissues in the adult – in patients with liver cancer, for example.
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