Purpose: Patients are increasingly undergoing prostatic biopsy to identify localized prostate cancer. The decision to perform a biopsy is often made on the basis of total prostate specific antigen (PSA). However, this value lacks adequate specificity for this task. We evaluate the role that a number of these tests, including the Bayer complexed PSA (Bayer Diagnostics, Tarrytown, New York) and free/total PSA ratio, may have in our clinical practice.
Materials and Methods: A total of 160 consecutive patients attending a prostate assessment clinic were enrolled during an 18-month period in our study. All patients had a previously recorded total PSA (range 2.6 to 20.0 ng./ml.). Before transrectal ultrasound biopsy of the prostate gland, a blood sample was taken with patient consent. The findings on ultrasound were then recorded, including prostate volume. Serum samples were immediately sent for subsequent storage and analysis.
Results: Of the patients enrolled 109 had benign histology while 51 had prostatic carcinoma. The 2 patient groups were well matched for age. In our series patients with prostate cancer had significantly smaller prostates and higher mean total PSA. At a high sensitivity, such as 95%, it appeared that Bayer complexed PSA performed better than the other tests and ratios, with an estimated specificity of 24.8% compared with 17.4% for Bayer total PSA and 15.6% for Abbott free/total PSA (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois). Receiver operator characteristics curves were drawn, and when the areas under them were calculated, we demonstrated that the area under the curve for Bayer complexed PSA (0.706) was between the values for total PSA (0.671) and free/total PSA ratio (0.731). However, the only statistically significant improvement in performance was in Payer complexed PSA over the total PSA assays.
Conclusions: Our study revealed that the overall diagnostic performance of Bayer complexed PSA appears to be better than the other PSA tests and ratios studied. The use of Bayer complexed PSA may lead to a reduction in the number of men undergoing unnecessary prostatic biopsy.
- prostate-specific antigen
- prostatic neoplasms