Could prostate biopsies be avoided in men older than 75 years with raised PSA?

Michael Nomikos*, Paramananthan Mariappan, Alexandra Zachou, Alan McNeill, Prasad R. Bollina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Our purpose was to review current practice regarding the use of prostate biopsies in men older than 75 years with raised PSA by presenting the results of a retrospective audit and to identify these older men who really benefit from prostate biopsies. Methods: A high-volume tertiary center's prospectively maintained prostate biopsy database of contemporary biopsies was reviewed. Men were stratified by age and PSA. Logistic regression analysis, Mantel-Haenszel and Fisher's exact tests were used for statistical analysis. Results: Overall, 1,593 men underwent prostate biopsies between April 2004 and August 2006. Of these, 293 patients (18.4%) with a mean age of 82.62 years and mean PSA of 30.37 ng/ml were eligible for the study with an overall incidence of prostate cancer of 73.7%. Elderly men with PSA >20 ng/ml had a prostate cancer detection rate of 91%. They were more likely to have-high grade disease (OR = 5.4, 95% CI = 2.8-10.8, p < 0.0001) and receive hormone deprivation therapy (RR = 3.0, 95% CI = 2.1-4.3, p < 0.0001). Elderly men with PSA <20 ng/ml had a 3-fold risk of being placed on active monitoring. Almost 20% of them had 1 complication following biopsy, of whom 12 (4.1%) needed hospitalization. Conclusions: Given the high probability of detecting prostate cancer and receiving conservative treatment, prostate biopsies can be omitted in men >75 years with PSA >20 ng/ml. However, they are still useful in fit men >75 and <80 years with PSA <20 ng/ml who can be the potential candidates for treatment with curative intent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-414
Number of pages5
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Elderly men
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Raised PSA


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