The absence of voiding symptoms in men with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration of ≥3.0 ng/mL is an independent risk factor for prostate cancer: results from the Gothenburg Randomized Screening Trial

BJU Int. 2012 Sep;110(5):638-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.10962.x. Epub 2012 Apr 30.


What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? There are only a few studies and no consensus concerning the relationship between LUTS and prostate cancer. This paper focuses on 2353 men with an elevated PSA level within the Gothenburg Randomized Screening Trial who underwent biopsy and answered questions regarding LUTS. The main conclusion was that the absence of voiding symptoms is an independent risk factor for prostate cancer detection.

Objective: To investigate whether men with obstructive voiding symptoms are at increased risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer within the Gothenburg randomized population-based prostate cancer screening trial.

Subjects and methods: In 1995, 20 000 men born between 1930 and 1944 were randomly selected from the population register and randomized to either a screening group (10 000), invited for total prostate-specific antigen (tPSA) testing every second year until they reached an upper age-limit pending between 67 and 71 years, or to a control group not invited (10 000). Men with a PSA concentration of ≥3.0 ng/mL were offered further examination with prostate biopsies. Immediately before the physician's examination a self-administered, study-specific questionnaire was completed including one question concerning obstructive voiding symptoms. Multivariate logistic regression modelling was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for associations of age, tPSA, free/total PSA (f/tPSA) ratio, prostate volume and the presence of voiding symptoms in prostate cancer risk. A P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Between 1995 and 2010 there were 2590 men who had an elevated PSA concentration (≥3.0 ng/mL) at least once during the study. Of these, 2353 men (91%) accepted further clinical examination with transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) and prostate biopsies. In all, 633/2353 men had prostate cancer (27%) on biopsy and 1720/2353 men (73%) had a benign pathology. Men with prostate cancer reported a lower frequency of voiding symptoms (24% vs 31%, P < 0.001), independent of age and locally advanced tumours (T2b-T4). In the multivariate logistic regression model increasing age and tPSA were positively associated with prostate cancer while prostate volume, f/tPSA ratio and the presence of voiding symptoms were all inversely associated with the risk of detecting prostate cancer in a screening setting. This inverse association of voiding symptoms and prostate cancer detection was restricted to men with large prostates (>37.8 mL); 15% in men with voiding symptoms vs 22% in asymptomatic men (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The presence of voiding symptoms should not be a decision tool for deciding which men with an elevated PSA concentration should be offered biopsies of the prostate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / blood*
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Burden


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen