CPT Code 83951 | Description & Clinical Information
CPT 83951 describes the measurement of the des gamma carboxy prothrombin oncoprotein, usually in a serum specimen, which is primarily used by clinicians for the risk assessment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
The CPT book defines CPT code 83951 as: “Oncoprotein; des-gamma-carboxy-prothrombin (DCP)”.
The procedure described by CPT code 83951 involves the quantitation of the des gamma carboxy prothrombin (DCP) oncoprotein in a serum sample. The lab analyst is responsible for performing the technical steps involved in this process. It is commonly done using the methodology of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ELISA is an immunochemical test that involves an enzyme linked to an antigen-antibody reaction which identifies and quantifies the analyte.
DCP is an abnormal protein induced by the vitamin K antagonist II, which is a nonfunctional form of prothrombin. This analyte holds great significance in the early diagnosis and monitoring of hepatocellular carcinoma, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the US. Clinicians primarily use the DCP test to assess the risk of liver cancer in patients. The test is particularly useful in assessing the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic liver disease.
Since the DCP test is a serum-based assay, the collection and storage of the serum samples are crucial to avoid unexpected pre-analytical errors. The laboratory technicians ensure the accurate and precise processing of the samples to obtain reliable results.
During the DCP test, the serum sample is added to the ELISA plate coated with the antigen-specific antibodies for DCP. The antibodies bind with the analyte, forming an antigen-antibody complex. An enzyme-labeled secondary antibody is afterward added, which binds to the complex. Upon the addition of the substrate to the system, the enzyme produces a detectable signal that is directly proportional to the amount of analyte bound to the primary antibody.
The use of the DCP test is beneficial in incidents of hepatocellular carcinoma where early diagnosis is crucial to the patient’s survival. In combination with other diagnostic tests, DCP test levels can guide the clinicians in monitoring the treatment efficacy in hepatocellular carcinoma patients. The patients who show a decrease in DCP levels have a better prognosis as compared to those who do not.
Additionally, the DCP test is useful in identifying high-risk populations for liver cancer, such as individuals with hepatitis B or C infections or patients with liver cirrhosis. The test provides valuable information for the clinicians to manage and monitor the patients effectively.
In conclusion, the DCP test is a vital tool for clinicians in the assessment, diagnosis, and monitoring of hepatocellular carcinoma. The procedure involved in obtaining the quantitation of DCP using the method of ELISA requires the technical expertise of laboratory analysts. It holds immense significance in the timely detection and management of liver cancer, contributing to better patient outcomes.
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