Prostate-specific antigen and prostate gland volume: correlation and clinical application

J Clin Lab Anal. 1990;4(2):135-7. doi: 10.1002/jcla.1860040212.


We studied 103 patients seen in our Prostate Cancer Detection Clinic to determine whether a correlation exists between serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values and ultrasound-calculated prostate gland volume. Seventy men (68%) had a PSA value less than or equal to 4 ng/ml (our upper limit of normal). The men were subclassified by prostate gland volume at arbitrary break points. Twenty-five men (24%) had a prostate gland volume less than or equal to 25 cm3; in 96%, the PSA value was less than or equal to 4 mg/ml. Further analysis revealed that the percentage of men with a normal serum PSA value decreased as the prostate gland volume increased; 65.6% of the group with a gland volume between 25 and 50 cm3 (40 of 61) and 35.5% of the group whose prostate volume exceeded 50 cm3 (6 of 17) had PSA values less than or equal to 4 ng/ml. Four men had PSA values greater than 20 ng/ml; all had prostate cancer. Cancer was diagnosed in four additional patients, three with PSA values between 5 and 10 ng/ml and one with a PSA value less than 4 ng/ml. There appears to be a direct relationship between prostate gland volume and PSA value, as well as a cancer value threshold. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate / immunology
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / blood
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / immunology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen