Purpose: Recent studies have suggested that the primary site of metabolism for prostate specific antigen (PSA) is the liver. We evaluated men undergoing liver transplantation to determine whether chronic hepatic insufficiency affected serum PSA levels and whether improved hepatic function altered serum PSA levels.
Materials and methods: Ten men with a mean age of 46 years (range 23 to 67) undergoing liver transplantation were evaluated. Liver function tests, including serum bilirubin, serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, as well as serum PSA were determined 1 day before and a mean of 12.6 months (range 4 to 18) after transplantation.
Results: Serum bilirubin and serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase declined significantly after liver transplantation. There was no difference in mean serum PSA levels before and after liver transplantation.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that severe hepatic dysfunction does not significantly alter the serum concentration of PSA. These data, combined with recent investigations demonstrating an intrahepatic mechanism for PSA elimination, suggest that the liver has a significant reserve to metabolize the relatively small quantities of PSA in the circulation.