This test helps to find out the levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein in the Cerebrospinal Fluid [CSF]. ### What Is Alpha-Fetoprotein [AFP]: Alpha-Fetoprotein is a protein produced by the liver of a developing baby (fetus) and developing an embryo. It is produced when liver cells are regenerating. It circulates through the fetal and maternal blood. AFP is still present in the individuals who are not pregnant. This is also found in the peoples who are suffering from certain cancer types such as hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), testicular cancer, ovarian cancer. AFP is one of the several tumor markers. ### Why This Test Is Performed: This test is done to know whether an individual is having normal or abnormal levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein in the CSF. The doctor may ask to perform this test if an individual is suffering from symptoms like pain in the abdomen, swelling in the abdomen, vomiting, lethargy, unusual thirst etc. This test is also done to determine the risk of developing cancer. If an individual is on the cancer treatment therapy, then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and AFP levels in the CSF. This helps the doctor to rule out the patient disease condition. Mostly, this test is done along with other tests to confirm the diagnosis. ### How Often This Test Should Be Performed: If you have been diagnosed with open neural tube defects or any type of cancer, your doctor may advise you to get this test done once in 3months or once in 3 years based on your clinical condition. If you are a healthy individual above the age of 35, your doctor may advise you to undergo this test either on a yearly basis or every other year. ### What Do The Test Results Mean: The test results may be different depending on gender, age, health conditions, and other factors. If the test results are above the normal range then it may indicate that there may be a chance for Central Nervous System Germinoma (germ cell tumors in the CNS system). If the test results are below than the normal range, it may indicate that the chances for getting a cancer are low. If the test results are abnormal, consult your doctor immediately. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests. ### Precautions: Smoking and anti-cancer drugs may change the test results and hence you are advised to inform all your current medications to the doctor prior to the test.
Also known as: AFP CSF, AFP CSF CSF.