One of a number of proteins of unknown function found in fetal blood. α-F. occurs in small amounts in normal adults and in larger amounts in the fetus and pregnant mother, especially in the second trimester; elevated levels are also detected in adult patients with liver disease and neoplasms.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • fetoproteins — Fetal proteins found in small amounts in adults in the following forms: α f. (AFP) increases in maternal blood during pregnancy and, when detected by amniocentesis, is an important indicator of open neural tube defects and is also used as a tumor …   Medical dictionary

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