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Prostate Specific Antigen

Alias: PSA

Discipline: Clinical Chemistry

Test information: As a tumour marker for prostatic cancer, PSA demonstrates high tissue specificity and serum concentrations correlate well with tumour mass and clinical stage. However, elevated concentrations can not be considered diagnostic of prostatic cancer, as PSA can be elevated in 15% of patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy. PSA is an accurate marker of response to treatment and for early detection of recurrent disease. PSA has a serum half life of about 3 days and should fall rapidly to normal or undetectable concentrations after successful radical prostatectomy.

Specimen Type(s)
  • Blood;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Gold Top SST BD;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • Clear - Plain;
  • N/A;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
Avoid ejaculation for 48 hours before sample collection as this has been associated with elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels; the sample should also be collected prior to a rectal exam and prior to or 6 weeks after a prostate biopsy.
PSA may remain high for many months following a urinary tract infection, and for 48 hours following vigorous exercise, especially riding a bicycle).
Maximum add on time
5 days
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Below 50 equal to/less than 2.5 ug/L
50 to 59 equal to/less than 3.5
60 to 69 equal to/less than 4.5
70 to 79 equal to/less than 6.5
80 and above equal to/less than 20
UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?

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Last updated: 03-05-2024