The < symbol is the difference between undetectable and detectable.
Let me approach it another way.
Hope you stay on AS, but let's say things go South and you have to get a tx. Say surgery. Your post surgery PSA stays at <xxx for a year. Then the next PSA you lose the <.
I doubt if you will consider that insignificant. It will, in fact, be worrisome. For some, slightly so. Others, quite a bit so.
Or at least it will to most men on this Forum, I think, based on what I've been reading.
Going from 8.23 to 8.25, you are basically unchanged. No problem. I guess there could be an exception: if you started HT with a PSA at 8.23 and your next PSA was 8.25 8 months later you are probably in deep crapola, heading for castrate resistance.
Losing the <, you might well be facing a BCR. There would definitely be more pressure on the next PSA test.
After my surgery, my first PSA was 0.01, without the <. I never had a <. My next PSA was 0.03. That was indeed worrisome and, in fact, correctly so.
Post Edited (compiler) : 12/27/2016 4:36:28 PM (GMT-7)