When Does PSA Blood Get "Stale"

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 8/18/2010 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Had blood drawn for post-surgery PSA last Wednesday. Had not heard any results so I inquired today. Nurse called me and said my test did not get run by the lab and they could still do it, with results available on Friday.

Aside from being generally peeved about the clinic and lab letting me "sweat blood" for a week about the results, I am just wondering if the blood is still "good" a week later.

Any thoughts??
Husband and father of two (current ages 6 and 8). Age 47 when diagnosed (currently 49).
Pre-surgery PSA: 13.7 Pre-surgery Gleason: 4+3=7
CT Scan, Bone Scan, PET Scan: Clear
Laproscopic Surgery on May 28, 2008, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.
Right nerve bundle spared; left bundle removed.
POST-SURGERY PATH REPORT: Gleason: 4+3=7;10% of prostate with all quadrants involved; extraprostatic extension at left base and apex; extensive perineurual invasion present. Bladder neck, lymphvasular space, seminal vesicles, 17 examined lymph nodes, and all surgical margins FREE of tumor. T3a.
Four-week post-surgical PSA = 0.1; Seven-week post-surgical PSA = .01;October 2008 PSA = 0.0; January 2009 PSA = 0.0; April 2009 PSA = 0.0; July 2009 PSA = 0.0; October 2009 PSA = 0.0; January 2010 PSA= 0.0; April 2010 PSA =0.1 (anxiety starts); May 2010 PSA still = 0.1.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 8/18/2010 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   

If properly refrigerated I would think it'd be good for a long time...Many guys here get second opinions from the same blood...

I always had my blood drawn a week before meeting with the doc to get the results. Since there ain't a darn thing I can do but react...I don't sweat the small stuff smhair

Age 55 - 5'11" 215lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09 - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
11/20/09 - 18 Month PSA -> less then .01
05/18/10 - 24 Month PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2366
   Posted 8/25/2010 1:04 AM (GMT -6)   
There's no excuse for these kinds of medical errors. A lot of missed tests and other lacksadaisical practices are the result of the Take-A-Number attitudes of many healthcare practitioners. They ignore the fact that there's a real live patient sweating bullets over the test results.

I'd complain about it; the least they can do for you is to offer the test at no charge (even if it is covered by insurance). The blood should be ok to test a week later if it was properly stored. If you are concerned that the blood may have been around too long, have them draw a fresh sample for testing.


Post Edited (TimG) : 8/25/2010 9:10:01 AM (GMT-6)

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 8/25/2010 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I have no idea how long PSA tests remain good. But I can add this tidbit. It is possible to get PSA testing kits for 10 bucks. Once drawn that can be sent via snail mail to a center for analysis. Sounds like refrigeration does not matter.

But that stated. It takes less than one hour to run an assay STAT. Your test was delayed by priority. Not very nice?

Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7

RALP ~ 2/17/2007 at the City of Hope near Los Angeles.
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.

"I beat up this disease and took its lunch money! I am in remission."
I am currently not being treated, but I do have regular oncology visits.
I am the president of an UsTOO chapter in Las Vegas

Blog : www.caringbridge.org/visit/tonycrispino

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 8/25/2010 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
For ultra sensitive tests Quest Labs says:
 4 days ambient
10 days refrigerated
1 yr. frozen

Diagnosed 2/2008 at age 71, Gleason score 5+3, stage T1c, PSA 9.1.
Robotic surgery 5/2008, nerves spared, stg. pT2c, N0, MX, R0, Gleason 5+3
PSA <0.1 at 26 months and at all tests since surgery.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 8/25/2010 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos said...
For ultra sensitive tests Quest Labs says:
 4 days ambient
10 days refrigerated
1 yr. frozen
Good answer, Carlos.
For the standard PSA test:
    7 days ambient
   14 days refrigerated
   1 yr. frozen
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