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Normal PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test

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Normal PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test
Last update: 16/12/2021

What is the normal value of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

The normal range of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is age-dependent and is expressed in ng/ml.

Men over 70 years old: < 6.5 ng/ml
Men between 60 and 69 years old: < 4.5 ng/ml
Men between 50 and 59 years old: < 3.5 ng/ml
Men between 40 and 49 years old: < 2.5 ng/ml
Women: < 0.5 ng/ml

Why normal values can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal range for CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) in a blood test. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

The race may have influence in the PSA normal range. People from Asia usually have a slight lower normal range.

    What does PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) mean?

    PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a single chain glycopeptide produced almost exclusively in the prostatic secretory epithelium. Normally, PSA is secreted into the prostatic ducts; however, in some diseases increased amounts of PSA are diffused into the blood where they are quickly inactivated by protease inhibitors. PSA is also known as kallikrein-3.

    The main function of PSA is the liquefaction of seminal coagulum to allow sperm to become more motile.

    PSA is also produced at very low levels in the paraurethral and perianal glands, placenta, breast, and thyroid. However, except for breast cancer, these tissues do not secrete a significant amount of PSA into the blood.

    The prostate specific antigen (PSA) may be present in the blood in two different ways:

    • Free PSA: The PSA remains free in the blood unbound to any carrier protein.
    • Conjugated PSA: The PSA is bound to other proteins.

    Total PSA is the sum of free PSA and conjugated PSA.

    What is the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test used for?

    PSA is measured in a routine blood test of middle and elderly men as a marker for the screening and prognosis for prostate cancer.

    It is recommended, for age 50 or above, to perform a PSA test each year. Men having a first-degree relative with prostate cancer should begin at age 45 or even at 40.

    Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a tumor marker and it is a good indicator for prostate cancer, although it is also high in other conditions. If PSA is high in a blood test, it is necessary to perform additional screening tests to know if it is due to a prostate cancer or another type of prostate disorder.

    PSA in the blood is found high in two different conditions:

    • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): due to an increase in free PSA
    • Prostate cancer: due to an increase in conjugated PSA

    For that reason, when there is a high PSA in the blood it is recommended to know the free PSA in order to know the rate Free PSA / Total PSA. High levels of free PSA suggest a benign process, whereas low free PSA correlates more closely with prostate cancer.

    A high PSA level in the blood may be also a sign of infection (prostatitis) or prostate trauma.

    The greatest value of PSA is as a marker in the follow-up of patients at high risk for disease progression. Ideally, the PSA should decline to undetectable levels within 2 or 3 weeks of radical prostatectomy. The level of PSA following prostatectomy should be below 0.5 ng/ml.

    Where can I find more information about PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

    You can visit our pages about:

    Which values are considered a normal PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in a blood test?

    The following values are considered to be normal values:

    IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in ng/ml. They are an example of a healthy man/woman of about 55 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

    PSA
    Normality
    0 ng/ml0.1 ng/ml0.2 ng/ml0.3 ng/ml0.4 ng/ml0.5 ng/ml0.6 ng/ml0.7 ng/ml
    0.8 ng/ml0.9 ng/ml1 ng/ml1.1 ng/ml1.2 ng/ml1.3 ng/ml1.4 ng/ml1.5 ng/ml
    1.6 ng/ml1.7 ng/ml1.8 ng/ml1.9 ng/ml2 ng/ml2.1 ng/ml2.2 ng/ml2.3 ng/ml
    2.4 ng/ml2.5 ng/ml2.6 ng/ml2.7 ng/ml2.8 ng/ml2.9 ng/ml3 ng/ml3.1 ng/ml
    3.2 ng/ml3.3 ng/ml3.4 ng/ml3.5 ng/ml    
    Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 16/12/2021

    Bibliography

    • Cancer Therapeutic Targets. John L. Marshall, Lee M. Ellis, Edward P. Gelmann, Howard L. Kaufman, Louis M. Weiner, Emanuel, F. Petricoin. 2017. ISBN 978-1-4419-0716-5 Pag 451.
    • Imaging and Focal Therapy of Early Prostate Cancer. Thomas J. Polascik 2nd ed. 2017. ISBN 978-3-319-49910-9.
    • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 681.
    • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures: with nursing diagnoses. Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks. 8th ed. 2013. ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6. Pag. 250.
    • A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Test. 9th edition. Frances Fischbach. Marshall B. Dunning III. 2014. Pag 399. ISBN-10: 1451190891.

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