What is acid phosphatase?
Acid phosphatase is an enzyme present in the cells throughout the body. It is present in especially high concentrations in the prostate and semen in men. Prostatic diseases result in its release in the blood. A blood test can measure the enzyme acid phosphatase. Drugs and substances that can interfere with the test include fluorides, oxalates, clofibrate, and alcohol.
Why is the test done?
This test is usually done to check an abnormality of the prostate gland, prostate cancer, or to monitor the response of cancer to treatment. This is a good blood test to test for prostate cancer (accurate in half to three fourths of cases), but a physical examination is much more reliable.
How is the test done?
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow. No special preparation is required for the test.
What are the normal values?
Normal values range from 0 to 0.8 U/L (units per litre)
What do the abnormal results (high levels) lead to?
Prostatitis (swelling or infection in the prostate)
Prostate cancer with spread to bones
Paget's disease of bones (thicker and softer bones)
Stimulation of the prostate during colonoscopy, enemas or prostate examination