Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Biochem. 1996 Dec;29(6):555-62.

Prostate-specific antigen in amniotic fluid of normal and abnormal pregnancies.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To examine if prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is present in amniotic fluid or maternal serum during pregnancy and if its presence is associated with fetal abnormalities.


Samples tested included amniotic fluids from 853 pregnant women for whom amniocentesis was performed; 312 nonpregnant women who donated blood; 259 pregnant women who donated blood at various gestational ages. Amniotic fluid or serum PSA was measured with an ultrasensitive time-resolved immunofluorometric procedure. 372 pregnancies were studied for the presence of genotypic or phenotypic fetal abnormalities.


PSA was present in most amniotic fluids; the median PSA concentration increased from gestational week 11 to 22 and stabilized thereafter until delivery. The most prominent PSA concentration change occurred during gestational weeks 13-14. Pregnant women had significantly higher serum PSA concentrations than nonpregnant women; the pattern of serum PSA concentration change during pregnancy was similar to that of amniotic fluid; however, serum PSA concentrations were lower by a factor of 20-40. No association existed between amniotic fluid PSA and maternal age, gender of fetus, or length of abstinence of mother from sexual intercourse. After gestational week 15, fetuses with trisomy 21 or 18, anencephaly, or renal disorders were associated with low amniotic fluid PSA levels.


Our data suggest that PSA may play a role in fetal development, especially at gestational ages between 13-20 weeks. The diagnostic usefulness of PSA in identifying fetal abnormalities remains to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center