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Authors: William Clarke, PhD, Lori J. Sokoll, PhD Last modified: October 24, 2001
  • Certain drugs such as diuretics and promethazine can cause false negative results
  • Anti-convulsants, anti-parkinson drugs, hypnotics, and tranquilizers can give false positive results
  • Although hCG can indicate the presence of cancer, it is important to remember that it is not specific for one type of cancer and should not be used for general screening purposes in healthy patients
  • Higher concentrations of hCG generally correspond to larger tumors
  • hCG does not cross the blood brain barrier, so detection of hCG in CSF may indicate metastases to the brain
  • hCG can be used in conjunction with alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) for detection and staging of germ-cell tumors
  1. Chan DW and Sell S ;  Tumor Markers ;  Burtis CA and Ashwood ER (eds.): Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry, 5th ed., Ch. 21, Philadelphia, PA, WB Saunders, 2001.

  2. Wu JT ;  Diagnosis and Management of Cancer Using Serologic Tumor Markers ;  Henry JB (ed.): Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, 20th ed., Ch. 47, Philadelphia, PA, WB Saunders, 2001.

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