Production, analysis, and characterization of reference materials for prostate-specific antigen

U. C. Garg, J. H. Howanitz, R. M. Nakamura, R. H. Plous, J. H. Eckfeldt

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14 Scopus citations


Objective. - To produce a set of three reference materials that mimic sera from patients with prostate disorders in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration range important for clinical screening for prostate cancer (~0.5, ~4.0, and ~10.0 ng/mL), to analyze these reference materials in a large number of clinical laboratories using a variety of commercially available methods, and to characterize the molecular forms of PSA in them. Methods. - Units of serum from healthy individuals and from patients with varying degrees of elevated PSA were pooled, lyophilized, and distributed along with conventionally prepared, semen-supplemented proficiency testing samples to laboratories participating in the College of American Pathologists Basic Ligand Survey. The reference material and one of the standard Survey samples were fractionated by Sephacryl S-200-HR gel filtration chromatography. Results. - The Abbott IMx, Hybritech Tandem-E, Hybritech Tandem-R, and Tosoh AIA-Pack all measured PSA in the reference material fairly equally (agreement within ±12%). In contrast, the Abbott IMx results in the semen-supplemented Survey specimens were as much as 1.8-fold higher than the other three assays. Characterization of the molecular forms showed the reference material was ~90% α1-antichymotrypsin-bound PSA, whereas the semen-supplemented Survey specimens were ~40% α1-antichymotrypsin-bound PSA, which largely explained the difference in assay recoveries. Conclusions. - Semen-free materials containing only endogenous PSA much more closely mimic real clinical specimens and should prove useful in efforts to standardize clinical PSA assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1104-1108
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995


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