Low testosterone levels predict an increased likelihood of high-grade prostate cancer (PCa) being found as a result of a prostate biopsy, new findings suggest.

A team led by Hyeon Jeong, MD, of Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University, retrospectively studied 681 men who underwent an initial 12-core transrectal prostate biopsy. Of these, 86 had low testosterone levels (less than 300 ng/dL) and 143 had normal levels (300 ng/dL or higher). In addition, 143 men had a positive biopsy and 99 had high-grade PCa.

In multivariable analysis, compared with a normal testosterone level, a low testosterone level was not significantly associated with a PCa diagnosis overall, but it was associated with a significant 2.1 times increased risk of high-grade PCa, the investigators reported online ahead of print in BJU International.

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“Low testosterone level is an independent risk factor for high-grade prostate cancer detection at biopsy,” the researchers concluded. “Therefore, checking testosterone levels could help to determine whether prostate biopsy should be carried out.”