Radiological anatomy of prostatic arteries

Tech Vasc Interv Radiol. 2012 Dec;15(4):276-85. doi: 10.1053/j.tvir.2012.09.006.


One of the most challenging aspects of prostatic arterial embolization for patients with lower urinary tract symptoms and prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia is identifying the prostatic arteries (PAs). With preprocedural computed tomography angiography it is possible to plan treatment and exclude patients when arterial anatomy is not suited, or when extensive atherosclerotic changes may affect technical success. There is an excellent correlation between the computed tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography findings, enabling correct depiction of the male pelvic arterial anatomy (internal iliac branching patterns, relevant variants as accessory pudendal arteries, and PA anatomy). The prostate has a dual vascular arterial supply: a cranial or vesico-PA (named anterior-lateral prostatic pedicle) and a caudal PA (named posterior-lateral prostatic pedicle). These 2 prostatic pedicles may arise from the same artery in patients with only 1 PA (found in 60% of pelvic sides), or may arise independently in patients with 2 independent PAs (found in 40% of pelvic sides). The anterior-lateral prostatic pedicle vascularizes most of the central gland and benign prostatic hyperplasia nodules, frequently arises from the superior vesical artery in patients with 2 independent PAs, and is the preferred artery to embolize. The posterior-lateral prostatic pedicle has an inferior or distal origin, vascularizes most of the peripheral and caudal gland, and may have a close relationship with rectal or anal branches. In up to 60% of cases considerable anastomoses may be seen between the prostatic branches and surrounding arteries that should be taken into account when planning embolization. PAs lack pathognomonic digital subtraction angiography features; thus correct anatomical identification of the male pelvic and PAs is necessary to avoid untargeted ischemia to the bladder, rectum, anus, or corpus cavernosum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction*
  • Arteries / abnormalities
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / etiology
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostate / blood supply*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / complications
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*