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PSA Lab Results

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi All,

My name is John and my sister Nicole has asked a question regarding our Dad and his PSA level post-prostatectomy. He had robotic surgery and it went very well. We researched the surgeons to find out who is one of the best and we were able to find out. I think this helped a lot with his side effects. The question I have and where I am really confused is on the 3mo. PSA. He got a result of .1 through Quest Diagnostics. Some people have said this is undetectable. I've also heard some labs read below .1. What we haven't been able to find out is if Quest's results go below .1 or if .1 is their undetectable level. From what I've been told some labs don't and they call .1 undetectable. I mainly want to know what you all have learned. So far we really haven't got a definitive answer and I would hate for him to do radiation if he doesn't have too especially with how his side effects have been. I also tend to say lets be aggressive and do radiation if the doctor is adament about it. Any information you know on this would be appreciated. Ultimately we want to do what is best for him. If anybody can provide insight on how labs report their findings or specifically how Quest does that would be great.


randy_in_indy's picture
Posts: 495
Joined: Oct 2009

The PSA reading after surgery is usually ultra sensitive in nature to measure any reading since it should be <0.1. I was told my lab measures it that way but some other labs go to 0.03 or 0.04 readings. I was told as long as there is a less than sign in front of a 0.1 you are non-detectable. You really need to get the answer from either the doctor or the lab how they put out their scores. Good Luck

randy in indy

txbarton's picture
Posts: 89
Joined: Aug 2009


My first post-op PSA was by a lab other than Quest and reported as "<0.04 undetectable." My second was by Quest and reported as "0.1 undetectable". The Quest report included some standard narrative about recommended additional investigation if PSA was above 0.2.

My surgeon said the same thing that Randy did; some labs don't report below 0.1 some go lower.

If your dad didn't get a copy of the report he may want to; they often have a little more info/narrative that the doctor doesn't think to share.


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