a protein in the blood of a normal fetus, occasionally reappearing in an adult, where its presence indicates the possibility of disease or, in a pregnant woman, of fetal malformations
Origin of alpha-fetoproteinalpha + feto- (var. of feti-) + protein
A glycoprotein that is abundant in the blood plasma of human and other mammalian fetuses and is also present in the serum of people with certain diseases, such as liver cancer. Abnormal levels in maternal serum are associated with certain fetal abnormalities, including Down syndrome and spina bifida.