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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 86

of 'Ataxia-telangiectasia'

Serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP) levels in normal infants.
Wu JT, Book L, Sudar K
Pediatr Res. 1981;15(1):50.
Serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels were monitored in 32 normal babies consecutively from 2 to 3 days, 2 wk, and 2 and 4 months after birth. In addition, serum AFP concentration was also measured in 116 random specimens from infants with normal liver enzymes and 10 infants born immaturely. Results were combined to establish normal AFP levels for infants at various ages. Serum AFP disappeared rapidly after birth. We found that it was not until 8 months of age that the normal AFP level in infants approached adult level. The half-lives of AFP degradation were estimated to be 5.5 days between birth and 2 wk, 11 days between 2 wk to 2 months, and 33 days between 2 and 4 months of age. In contrast to earlier belief, we felt that some AFP synthesis still exists after birth; however, the rate of synthesis may also decrease with age.