Serial prostatic biopsies in men with persistently elevated serum prostate specific antigen values

D. W. Keetch*, W. J. Catalona, D. S. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

484 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the need for repeat prostatic biopsies in men whose initial biopsy results revealed no evidence of cancer or atypia. We evaluated 1,136 men who underwent 1 or more prostatic biopsies in a longitudinal prostate specific antigen (PSA) based prostate cancer screening study that called for biopsy if the serum PSA level was greater than 4.0 ng./ml. (Hybritech assay) and findings on rectal examination or ultrasonography were abnormal or suspicious for cancer. Of the 1,136 men who underwent prostatic biopsy 391 (34%) had prostate cancer on the initial biopsy. Of 427 men who had negative initial biopsy results, a persistent serum PSA level of greater than 4.0 ng./ml. and abnormal rectal or ultrasound examination findings 82 (19%) had cancer on biopsy 2. Of 203 men with persistent abnormalities 16 (8%) had cancer on biopsy 3 and 6 of 91 (7%) had cancer on biopsy 4 or later. Thus, 96% of the cancers were detected through either biopsy 1 or 2. The median initial PSA level, followup PSA levels and the yearly rate of change in PSA were significantly greater in men whose cancer was detected compared with those of men whose cancer was not detected (6.4 versus 5.4 ng./ml., 7.4 versus 6.6 ng./ml. and 1.1 versus 0.7 ng./ml. per year, respectively). There was a trend for a higher percentage of tumors detected through serial screening to be pathologically organ confined compared with those detected through initial screening (73% versus 62%, p = 0.07). We conclude that men with a persistently elevated serum PSA value after an initial negative prostatic biopsy should routinely undergo at least 1 repeat biopsy to exclude adequately the presence of detectable prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1574
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994


  • antigens, neoplasm
  • biopsy
  • prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Serial prostatic biopsies in men with persistently elevated serum prostate specific antigen values'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this