What Are Some Causes of Elevated PSA Levels in a Blood Test?

Some medical causes of elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in a blood test can be conditions, such as prostatitis, an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer, prostate biopsy and the placement of a catheter tube, states the National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus. However, as men age, PSA levels also rise and this can also be an influencing factor that may lead to a higher than normal result in a PSA test, notes MedicineNet.

Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate, while an enlargement of the prostate is also called benign prostate hyperplasia. Similarly, a urinary tract infection can lead to an elevation in PSA levels. These are all treatable conditions.

The PSA blood test also can be part of prostate cancer screening. Prostate- specific antigen is a protein produced by the prostate gland. The normal result for the PSA blood test is give as being lower than 4.0 nanograms per milliliter. However, when the PSA test result is above 4.0 but less than 7.0 nanograms per milliliter, a doctor can request a repeat of the PSA test result because these levels can often fluctuate, notes Cleveland Clinic.

Although PSA blood tests may be useful for prostate cancer screening, a higher than normal test result does not indicate automatically that a man has prostate cancer since there are other medical conditions that can also cause an elevation in PSA levels. Additionally, men with a normal PSA result can have prostate cancer, states MedicineNet. If a man has prostate cancer, a biopsy and other tests are necessary for a proper diagnosis.