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
An antigen produced in the liver of a fetus and that is also present in certain diseases, such as liver cancer. Its level in amniotic fluid can be used to detect certain fetal abnormalities, including Down syndrome and spina bifida.