Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein screening: The need to use race/ethnic specific medians in Asians

Joseph E. O’Brien, Arie Drugan, Frank A. Chervenak, Mark P. Johnson, Nelson B. Isada, Mordechai Hallak, Mark I. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives. We questioned whether race-specific databases for maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) screening should be added to those already available for African-American and white patients. Study design. We analyzed 138,272 MSAFP samples. The geo;graphic origin of the samples was New York metropolitan area. Patients were classified as white, African-American, His;panic or Asian. The usual adjustments were made and groups compared. Statistical analysis included ANOVA and multiple comparison test. Results. MSAFP values are highest (p < 0.05) for Asians, fol;lowed by African-Americans, Hispanics, and whites, although the difference between Hispanic and white was not signifi;cant. Conclusions. Four separate databases are definable if speci;men quantity is sufficient. Race/ethnic specific databases are more likely to yield the most accurate detection of abnormal MSAFP values, and therefore, fetal anomalies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-370
Number of pages4
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Asians
  • Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein
  • Race-specific norm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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