Background: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the most important tumor marker in prostate cancer diagnosis and follow-up. Its catabolism by the liver has not influenced its use as a prostate marker until the recent report of a significant increase in a man and a woman with acute hepatitis. In addition, PSA was detected in liver tumor extracts, which warranted its evaluation in liver cytolysis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, PSA was evaluated in a cohort of both sexes presenting either acute hepatitis or hepatocellular carcinoima.
Methods: Forty-two patients with acute hepatitis (21 male patients, 21 female patients) and 54 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (31 male patients, 23 female patients) were tested for PSA by equimolar immunoassay (Abbott AxSYM Total PSA, Abbott Diagnostics, Rungis, France) and for relevant liver biological parameters (alpha-fetoprotein, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total bilirubin, and prothrombin rate).
Results: PSA was undetectable in all the female patients and was consistent with age in the males (PSA median and range in acute hepatitis, 0.36 microg/l (range, 0.05-1.3); in hepatocellular carcinoma, 0.36 microg/l (range, 0.02-3.9)). It did not correlate with alpha-fetoprotein and aminotransferases.
Conclusions: Our results confirm the well-established reliability of PSA, and show that PSA remains a valid prostate marker in patients with acute hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.