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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 25;8(6):e67585. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067585. Print 2013.

Age-specific prostate specific antigen cutoffs for guiding biopsy decision in Chinese population.

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Department of Urology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



Age-specific prostate specific antigen (PSA) cutoffs for prostate biopsy have been widely used in the USA and European countries. However, the application of age-specific PSA remains poorly understood in China.


Between 2003 and 2012, 1,848 men over the age of 40, underwent prostate biopsy for prostate cancer (PCa) at Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China. Clinical information and blood samples were collected prior to biopsy for each patient. Men were divided into three age groups (≤60, 61 to 80, and >80) for analyses. Digital rectal examination (DRE), transrectal ultrasound (prostate volume and nodule), total PSA (tPSA), and free PSA (fPSA) were also included in the analyses. Logistic regression was used to build the multi-variate model.


Serum tPSA levels were age-dependent (P = 0.008), while %fPSA (P = 0.051) and PSAD (P = 0.284) were age-independent. At a specificity of 80%, the sensitivities for predicting PCa were 83%, 71% and 68% with tPSA cutoff values of 19.0 ng/mL (age≤60),21.0 ng/mL (age 61-80), and 23.0 ng/mL (age≥81). Also, sensitivities at the same tPSA levels were able to reach relatively high levels (70%-88%) for predicting high-grade PCa. Area (AUC) under the receive operating curves (ROCs) of tPSA, %fPSA, PSAD and multi-variate model were different in age groups. When predicting PCa, the AUC of tPSA, %fPSA, PSAD and multi-variate model were 0.90, 0.57, 0.93 and 0.87 respectively in men ≤60 yr; 0.82, 0.70, 0.88 and 0.86 respectively in men 61-80 yr; 0.79, 0.78, 0.87 and 0.88 respectively in men>80 yr. When predicting Gleason Score ≥7 or 8 PCa, there were no significant differences between AUCs of each variable.


Age-specific PSA cutoff values for prostate biopsy should be considered in the Chinese population. Indications for prostate biopsies (tPSA, %fPSA and PSAD) should be considered based on age in the Chinese population.

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