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Urology. 1998 Feb;51(2):186-95.

Observations on pathology trends in 62,537 prostate biopsies obtained from urology private practices in the United States.

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UroDiagnostics and UroSciences Groups, UroCor, Inc., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.

Erratum in

  • Urology 1998 Mar;51(3):523.



To evaluate pathology trends of 62,537 first-time prostate needle-core biopsies submitted by office-based urologists, processed at a single pathology laboratory.


Prostate biopsy cases obtained over a 2-year period were assessed. Patient information included age, digital rectal examination (DRE) status, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) serum levels. Biopsy pathology results included the number of tissue samples per case, Gleason score, presence of Gleason grades 4 or 5, percent of biopsy length with evidence of cancer, number of samples with cancer per biopsy, and determination of DNA ploidy status using microspectrophotometry.


Adenocarcinoma, suspicious lesions, and isolated high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) were diagnosed in 38.3%, 2.9%, and 4.1% of the biopsies, respectively. For each serum PSA and age range assessed, the positive biopsy rate and incidence of critical pathologic features increased consistently. The average percentage of biopsy length with evidence of tumor, the percentage of cases with Gleason grades 4 or 5, and the percentage of cases with an abnormal DNA ploidy all decreased significantly over the 2-year period (P <0.01).


The number of tissue cores and anatomic sites (locations) being sampled per biopsy are increasing. The tumor size detected and percentage of cases with Gleason grades 4 and 5 are decreasing. There has been a slight increase in the number of biopsies performed on men younger than 60 years of age and a slight decrease in biopsies performed on men older than 70 years of age. The decline in meaningful pathologic features observed in biopsies over time may be clinically relevant to improved disease management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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