Complexed prostate-specific antigen for the diagnosis of biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy


J. Kellogg Parsons, UCSD Division of Urology, 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103, USA. e-mail:



To determine the validity of using complexed prostate-specific antigen (cPSA) levels for diagnosing biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP).


With linear regression modelling, we determined threshold cPSA levels for biochemical recurrence in patients after RP for clinically localized prostate cancer. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and likelihood ratio tests of each threshold for diagnosing biochemical recurrence using total PSA (tPSA) as the reference standard.


In the regression models, tPSA and cPSA were highly correlated (r = 0.99). For the diagnosis of biochemical recurrence, tPSA thresholds of 0.20 and 0.40 ng/mL corresponded to cPSA thresholds of 0.12 ng/mL (95% confidence interval 0.08–0.17) and 0.29 (0.22–0.28)  ng/mL, respectively. For the detection of biochemical recurrence, a cPSA threshold of 0.12 ng/mL had a sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 88%, positive predictive value of 89%, negative predictive value of 88%, positive likelihood ratio of 8, and negative likelihood ratio of 0.05; the respective values for a cPSA threshold of 0.29 ng/mL were 96%, 96%, 96%, 96%, 24 and 0.04.


cPSA has high validity for the diagnosis of biochemical recurrence after RP. Pending external validation, cPSA might be useful for biochemical surveillance after RP.