The Truth... What is it?


There is some difference in the numerical result which various PSA brand systems will determine on the same patient sample. This is of scientific interest, mostly; but it is of practical interest in that, as always, it means that laboratorians must be careful.

Certain persons active in the arena of prostate cancer become nearly hysterical (about 1995) in their zeal that Hybritech is the only reliable brand system.

Of much greater significance is the diligence, tenacity, freedom from distractions, and accuracy with which the technologists can exert the quality control system on the specimen testing in any given lab. What do you know about the minute-to-minute integrity of the people responsible for your testing?

Our lab specializes in immunotechniques; PSA testing is by such immunotechniques. We previously used the TOSOH system and published our internal study showing it to be every bit as reliable as Hybritech (Am. J. Clin. Path 100:319,1993). This system was subsequently bought by Abbott; and we used it as an Abbott brand. By 2007, even more changes have happened.

We acknowledge with gratitude Hybritech's long-term support of prostate cancer awareness meetings produced by support organizations such as US TOO. And we are grateful in behalf of men in general for the boundless energy in favor of prostate cancer awareness as exhibited by leaders such as our friend Roland Young, of Columbia, S. C.

BPH, prostate cancer, prostatitis, urinary retention, cystoscopy, prostate biopsy or TURP, ejaculation, and DRE prostate exam/massage can all elevate serum total PSA...some doing it just briefly. When making serial measurements over time, a value change COULD be due to the test being done in different labs or the lab made a test brand change.

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(posted about 1999; latest addition 13 August 2007)