Original Articles

Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 308-312

First online:

Serum PSA levels are not affected by the menstrual cycle or the menopause, but are increased in subjects with polycystic ovary syndrome

  • A. BurelliAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello Email author 
  • , R. CioniniAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
  • , E. RinaldiAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
  • , E. BenelliAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
  • , E. FioreAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
  • , D. CanaleAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
  • , W. BencivelliAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa
  • , C. NencettiAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
  • , A. PincheraAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello
    • , E. PucciAffiliated withDipartimento di Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, Università di Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello

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Abstract

Background/aims: Prostatic specific antigen (PSA) is the most specific prostatic tumor marker in man. Recently, PSA has been detected in a variety of tissues and fluids in women, and its determination suggested as a marker of hyperandrogenism. However, precise information about the physiology of PSA in females is not available. The goal of this study was to assess serum concentrations of PSA in healthy pre-menopausal women (healthy pre-menopausal group), menopausal women (menopause group) and patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS group). Methods: PSA, androgens, LH, FSH, 17-β-estradiol (E2), progesterone (Pg) were assessed in 40 post-menopausal women, 35 fertile controls and 35 women with PCOS. Results: No significant difference in PSA concentrations could be demonstrated in different phases of the menstrual cycle in healthy pre-menopausal group and between pre- and post-menopausal groups. No correlations could be demonstrated between serum PSA levels and the following parameters: age, body mass index (BMI), LH, FSH, E2, testosterone (T), DHEAS, and SHBG, both in pre- and post-menopausal women. Significantly higher PSA levels (median=14 pg/ml) were found in the PCOS group compared to both pre-menopausal (median=5 pg/ml) and menopausal (median= 5 pg/ml) groups (p<0.05). Conclusions: only minor fluctuations of serum PSA concentrations are observed in healthy pre- and post-menopausal women, while serum level is higher in PCOS, and therefore PSA can be considered a suitable marker of female hyperandrogenism.

Key Words

Prostatic specific antigen polycystic ovary syndrome hirsutism