Medline: 11089718

Journal of General Internal Medicine 15(10): 739-748, 2000.

Using the free-to-total prostate-specific antigen ratio to detect prostate cancer in men with nonspecific elevations of prostate-specific antigen levels.

Hoffman RM, Clanon DL, Littenberg B, et al.

Abstract:

Background:
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels between 4.0 to 10.0 ng/ml have poor specificity in prostate cancer screening, leading to unnecessary biopsies.

Objective:
To determine whether the free-to-total PSA ratio (F/T PSA) improved the diagnostic accuracy of these nonspecific PSA levels. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN

Results:
MEDLINE searchedwas from 1986 to 1997. Additional studies were identified from article bibliographies and by searching urology journals. Two investigators independently identified English-language studies providing F/T PSA ratio test-operating characteristics data on > or = 10 cancer patients with PSA values between 2.0 and 10.0 ng/ml. Twenty-one of 90 retrieved studies met selection criteria. Two investigators independently extracted data on methodology and diagnostic performance. Investigator-selected cut points for the optimal F/T PSA ratio had a median likelihood ratio of 1.76 (interquartile range, 1.40 to 2.11) for a positive test and 0.27 (0.20 to 0.40) for a negative test. Assuming a 25% pretest probability of cancer, the posttest probabilities were 37% following a positive test and 8% following a negative test. The summary receiver operating characteristic curve showed that maintaining test sensitivity above 90% was associated with false positive rates of 60% to 90%. Methodologic problems limited the validity and generalizability of the literature.

Conclusions:
A negative test reduced the posttest probability of cancer to approximately 10%. However, patients may find that this probability is not low enough to avoid undergoing prostate biopsy. The optimal F/T PSA ratio cut point and precise estimates for test specificity still need to be determined.


This is a service of:

Uni Logo

Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn
Medical Center


Dr. G. Quade

Impressum