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68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT-based multivariate model for highly accurate and noninvasive diagnosis of clinically significant prostate cancer in the PSA gray zone.

BACKGROUND: The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has been widely used in screening and early diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa). However, in the PSA grey zone of 4-10 ng/ml, the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing PCa are limited, resulting in considerable number of unnecessary and invasive prostate biopsies, which may lead to potential overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We aimed to predict clinically significant PCa (CSPCa) by combining the maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) based on 68 Ga‑PSMA PET/CT and clinical indicators in men with gray zone PSA levels.

METHODS: 81 patients with suspected PCa based on increased serum total PSA (TPSA) levels of 4 - 10 ng/mL who underwent transrectal ultrasound/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/PET fusion-guided biopsy were enrolled. Among them, patients confirmed by histopathology were divided into the CSPCa group and the non-CSPCa group, and data on PSA concentration, prostate volume (PV), PSA density (PSAD), free PSA (FPSA)/TPSA, Prostate Imaging-Reporting and Data System version 2.1 (PI-RADS v2.1) score, 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT imaging evaluation results and SUVmax were compared. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the independent predictors for CSPCa, thereby establishing a predictive model based on SUVmax that was evaluated by analyzing the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and decision curve analysis.

RESULTS: Compared to non-CSPCa, CSPCa patients had smaller PVs (median, 31.40 mL), lower FPSA/TPSA (median, 0.12), larger PSADs (median, 0.21 ng/mL2 ) and higher PI-RADS scores (P < 0.05). The prediction model comprising 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT maximal standardized uptake value, PV and FPSA/TPSA had the highest AUC of 0.927 compared with that of other predictors alone (AUCs of 0.585 for PSA, 0.652 for mpMRI and 0.850 for 68Ga-PSMA PET/CT). The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the prediction model were 86.21% and 86.54%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Given the low diagnostic accuracy of regular PSA tests, a new prediction model based on the 68 Ga-PSMA PET/CT SUVmax, PV and FPSA/TPSA was developed and validated, and this model could provide a more satisfactory predictive accuracy for CSPCa. This study provides a noninvasive prediction model with high accuracy for the diagnosis of CSPCa in the PSA gray zone, thus may be better avoiding unnecessary biopsy procedures.

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