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BJU Int. 2001 Aug;88(3):226-30.

Routine bone scans in patients with prostate cancer related to serum prostate-specific antigen and alkaline phosphatase.

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1
Department of Urology, loc. vs. Ketwich, Martini Hospital, NL-9700 RM Groningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the need for a bone scan as a routine staging procedure in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer in relation to serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, and thus determine whether a reduction of the use of this staging method is possible in patients with a low probability of osseous metastasis.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

The results of bone scans were related retrospectively to levels of serum PSA and ALP in 363 patients with prostate cancer newly diagnosed between 1989 and 1997.

RESULTS:

Of 363 consecutive patients, 111 had a positive bone scan. In 19 of 144 (13%, "missed diagnosis") patients with a PSA level of < 20 ng/mL the bone scan was positive. In 125 patients (49%, "false-positives") with a PSA level of > 20 ng/mL the bone scan was negative. A threshold level of 100 U/L for ALP gave a better balance for the number of "false-positives" and "missed diagnosis". ALP values correlated better with an abnormal bone scan than did PSA levels; ALP levels of > 90 U/L indicated a 60% chance for the presence of bone metastases.

CONCLUSION:

Patients with newly diagnosed and untreated prostate cancer should undergo bone scintigraphy if there is bone pain or if ALP levels are > 90 U/L. Recent reports discourage the routine use of a bone scan when the serum PSA level is <20 ng/mL. However, the present series suggests there is a greater chance of a positive bone scan in patients with low PSA levels; these findings need further confirmation.

PMID:
11488734
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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