Relationship between serum prostate-specific antigen and transrectal prostate sonographic findings in asymptomatic Ugandan males

Article Authors: Maxwell Okuja, Faith Ameda, Henry Dabanja, Felix Bongomin & Samuel Bugeza


Background: Prostate disorders are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in men above the age of 40 years globally. Serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels may be used to screen men at risk of prostate cancer and determine choice of medical treatment in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and evaluation of patients with prostatitis, while prostate sonography determines prostate volume (PV) and detects nodules. BPH may exhibit distinct hypoechoic, isoechoic, or hyperechoic nodules in the transition zone, whereas hypoechoic nodules in the peripheral zone are diagnostic for prostate cancer in over 50% of cases. In this study, we aimed at determining the relationship between serum PSA levels and transrectal prostate sonographic findings among asymptomatic Ugandan males.
Methods: Ugandan males above 30 years of age or older without lower urinary tract symptoms were cross-sectionally enrolled into the study. Serum PSA determination and transrectal ultrasound were performed. Association between PSA levels and PV was assessed using Spearman’s correlation coefficients (ρ).
Results: A total of 277 men were studied. The median serum PSA level was 1 (95% CI: 1–2). Most (n = 217, 78.3%) participants had serum PSA levels ≤ 4 ng/ml. The median sonographic PV was 26 (95% CI: 26–29) mls. One hundred and fifty-five (56.0%) participants had PV between 25 and 50 mls. Both PSA levels and PV progressively increased with age from 0.9 ng/ml and 22 mls in the 30–39 year age group to 7 ng/ml and 38 mls in the 60–69 year age group, respectively. PSA levels weakly correlated with PV (ρ = 0.27) (p < 0.0001). One hundred and thirty (47%) participants had prostatic nodules. Of these, 100 (77%) had features of benign nodules and 23% had suspicious nodules for prostate cancer. The median (range) serum PSA level in those with nodules was 2.0 (0.1–16.0) ng/ml and for those without nodules was 1.1 (0.1–8.0) ng/ml (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Serum PSA has a weak direct correlation with PV and not a reliable marker for the prediction of presence or absence of prostatic nodules in asymptomatic adult males.

Bibliographical metadata

Related Faculties/Schools