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Eur Urol. 2008 Apr;53(4):750-7. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Contemporary prostate cancer prevalence among T1c biopsy-referred men with a prostate-specific antigen level < or = 4.0 ng per milliliter.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.



To investigate the prostate cancer (PCa) prevalence and risk factors of men with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level< or =4.0 ng/ml and an unsuspicious digital rectal examination (DRE) in a large biopsy referral cohort.


Between 1997 and 2005, 855 men underwent initial transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsy at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf. Patients with any previous surgical or medical treatment were excluded from analyses. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine risk factors of PCa at biopsy and high-grade PCa defined as biopsy Gleason sum> or =7.


Overall PCa detection rate was 23.1%. The majority had a biopsy Gleason sum of 6 (79.5%) and 20.5% had a biopsy Gleason sum> or =7. Total PSA (tPSA) and percentage of free PSA (%fPSA) were statistically significantly different in men with and without PCa (all p<0.001). In tPSA strata < or = 0.5, 0.6-1.0, 1.1-2.0, 2.1-3.0, and 3.1-4.0 ng/ml, PCa prevalence was 4.0%, 10.6%, 14.8%, 24.5%, and 32.1%, respectively. In logistic regression analyses addressing PCa and Gleason sum > or = 7 at biopsy, %fPSA and prostate volume represented independent and most informative risk factors.


Our data demonstrate that a substantial percentage (23.1%) of men with a PSA< or =4.0 ng/ml and an unsuspicious DRE in a biopsy referral population harbor PCa, with 20.5% being high grade. Low %fPSA and low prostate volume represent important parameters in PCa and in high grade disease detection at biopsy, respectively.

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