Immunohistochemical expression

Expressed by fetal liver and the endoderm of the yolk sac, this antigen is present in yolk sac (endodermal sinus) tumours of testis and ovary and a high proportion of other germ cell tumours.  However, the staining in yolk sac tumours may be limited and sensitivity is low.  Alpha-fetoprotein may also be secreted by other types of tumour, including gastric carcinoma.

Diagnostic utility


Jacobsen GK, Jacobsen M,Clausen PP. Distribution of tumor-associated antigens in the various histologic components of germ cell tumors of the testis. Am J Surg Pathol 1981; 5:257-66

Peyrol S, Grimaud JA, Chayvialle JA, et al. Tissular immunoenzymatic detection of hepatic alphafetoprotein in human hepatomas. Digestion 1978; 18:351-70

Tsung SH. Localization of alpha-fetoprotein synthesis in malignancies other than hepatoma. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1977; 101:572-4

Goodman ZD, Ishak KG, Langloss JM, et al. Combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma. A histologic and immunohistochemical study. Cancer 1985; 55:124-35

Roth LM,Panganiban WG. Gonadal and extragonadal yolk sac carcinomas: a clinicopathologic study of 14 cases. Cancer 1976; 37:812-20


©SMUHT/PW Bishop