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Diagnostic value of prostatic specific antigen in hirsute women

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Determination of prostatic specific antigen (PSA) in female tissues has become available recently. The expression of PSA gene is under androgenic regulation. Therefore, hyperandrogenemic states, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), are expected to be presented with the higher levels of PSA. The current study aimed at evaluating PSA levels in hirsute women presumed to have PCOS or idiopatic hirsutism (IH). Thirty-three patients with PCOS, 40 patients with IH, and 20 healthy control subjects were enrolled in the study. Beside basal hormonal evaluation, total PSA (tPSA), and free PSA (fPSA) were determined in all subjects. Average level of tPSA was the highest in PCOS patients (0.099±0.267 ng/ml) when compared with IH and control subjects (p<0.05 and p<0.001, respectively). Besides, mean fPSA levels were found to be significantly higher in patients with PCOS than healthy controls (0.033±0.070 vs 0.010±0.001 ng/ml; p<0.05). Both total and free PSA levels were found to be higher in 73 hirsute women than in control subjects (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively). Women with hyperandrogenemia tended to have higher tPSA than women without hyperandrogenemia (p<0.01). PSA is likely to be used to discriminate hyperandrogenemic hirsutism. If more sensitive assays become available, PSA might be used as a diagnostic criteria for hirsutism and even for some diseases which have hirsutism as a component.

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Correspondence to Sevim Güllü MD.

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Güllü, S., Emral, R., Asik, M. et al. Diagnostic value of prostatic specific antigen in hirsute women. J Endocrinol Invest 26, 1198–1202 (2003).

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