Digital rectal examination and imaging studies are unnecessary in men with undetectable prostate specific antigen following radical prostatectomy

Charles R. Pound, Owen W. Christens-Barry, Robin T. Gurganus, Alan W. Partin, Patrick C. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: We determine the probability of local or distant recurrence following radical prostatectomy in men with an undetectable prostate specific antigen (PSA) level. Materials and Methods: The clinical course of 1,916 consecutive men followed during a 14-year period after radical prostatectomy was reviewed. Average followup plus or minus standard deviation is 5.5 ± 3.5 years, and 326 men (17%) have been followed for more than 10 years. In total this population of men has been followed for 10,540 patient-years. Results: Of 1,916 men 56 (2.9%) had local recurrence an average of 6.1 -+ 2.7 years- (range I to 12) after surgery. No man had local recurrence with an undetectable serum PSA. Mean serum PSA at the time of local recurrence was 5.8 ng./ml. Of the 56 men 13 (25%) who had local disease recurrence had an undetectable serum PSA at 5 years of followup but had progression to biochemical and local disease recurrence later. Of 1,916 men 118 had distant metastases with a mean serum PSA of 28.6 ng./ml. No man has had distant metastasis with an undetectable serum PSA. Conclusions: Disease can recur after radical prostatectomy even after an extended biochemical disease-free interval. None of the 1,916 men followed for an average of greater than 5 years after surgery had local recurrence or distant metastasis with an undetectable serum PSA. Based on these observations, we recommend no further evaluation, that is digital rectal examination or imaging studies, in men with an undetectable PSA following radical prostatectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1340
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Volume162
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1999

Keywords

  • Digital rectal examination
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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