Utilization of bone scans in conjunction with prostate-specific antigen levels in the surveillance for recurrence of adenocarcinoma after radical prostatectomy

M. K. Terris, A. S. Klonecke, I. R. McDougall, T. A. Stamey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


Follow-up evaluation of patients who have undergone radical prostatectomy routinely consists of serial bone scintigraphy and, more recently, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. The utility of serial bone scans in combination with PSA levels is retrospectively reviewed in 118 men treated by radical prostatectomy for clinical Stage A or B disease who, at the time of surgery, had no evidence of metastatic disease. Of the 118 patients, 75.4% had no abnormality on either test (mean follow-up 32.4 mo), 9.3% demonstrated a detectable or rising PSA level with negative bone scans (mean follow-up 35 mo), and 8.5% exhibited a detectable and or rising PSA level and positive bone scan (mean follow-up 30.7 mo). Follow-up bone scans were read as either positive or indeterminate with undetectable PSA levels in 6.8% of patients (mean follow-up 27.3 mo). Critical review of the equivocal studies suggests that postoperative PSA levels more truly represent the clinical situation than bone scans. Following radical prostatectomy, routine bone scintigraphy provides little additional information when PSA levels are negative. If PSA becomes detectable or the patient develops symptoms, bone scintigraphy should then be performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1713-1717
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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