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Prostatic-Specific Antigen (PSA)

 

Prostatic-Specific Antigen (PSA), Total, Serum

 

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a glycoprotein located in ductal epithelial cells of the prostate gland and can be detected in low concentrations in the sera of healthy men. PSA exists in two forms in the blood: free (not bound) and complexed (cPSA, bound to a protein). The most frequently used PSA test is the total PSA, which measures the sum of the free PSA and the cPSA in the blood. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, the total PSA test may be used as a monitoring tool to help determine the effectiveness of treatment. It may also be ordered at regular intervals after treatment to detect recurrence of the cancer.

Several conditions besides cancer can cause the PSA level to RISE, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, recent catheterization or cystoscopy, and urinary tract infections.

 

Prostatic-Specific Antigen (PSA), Free, Serum

 

Prostate-Specific Antigen is a glycoprotein only produced in the prostate. Its physiological role is to liquefy the semen in the seminal coagulum and allow sperm to swim freely. It is also believed to be instrumental in dissolving the cervical mucous cap, allowing the entry of sperm.

Levels INCREASE in prostate cancer and in certain non-malignant conditions like acute prostatitis and adenoma of the prostate.

 

Prostatic-Specific Antigen (PSA) Free / Total Ratio

 

Prostate Specific Antigen includes both bound and free forms. The ratio of free to total PSA is a useful diagnostic parameter because free PSA levels are particularly high in non-malignant hypertrophy of the prostate.  This test is used as a parameter for early diagnosis of prostate cancer. A high PSA ratio suggests a false-positive elevation of the PSA and weighs against the diagnosis of prostate cancer. In contrast, a high PSA with a low PSA ratio favors the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

 

 

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