Background: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a prevalent disease associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The standard of care for moderate-to-severe LUTS unresponsive to pharmacological treatment is the transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). However, this intervention is not exempt from complications. Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) has been described as a new, effective and safe procedure for the treatment of LUTS secondary to BPH. To date, only one clinical trial has been published on the use of PAE for LUTS, but the study was methodologically flawed in terms of safety monitoring. Therefore, well-designed clinical studies are required to compare the efficacy and safety of both techniques in the treatment of LUTS secondary to BPH.
Methods and design: This was a prospective, randomized, non-inferiority clinical trial comparing efficacy and safety of PAE and TURP in the treatment of BPH-related LUTS. A total of 60 patients diagnosed with BPH with obstructive moderate or severe LUTS refractory to medical therapy and candidates for TURP were randomized to either PAE or TURP. The presence and severity of LUTS were assessed using the validated Spanish version of the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). Primary end points included improvement in maximum urinary flow rate (Qmax) as measured at baseline and 1 year after the intervention. Improvement in IPSS as measured at baseline and after the intervention, reduction in prostate volume, no deterioration or improvement of sexual function (International Index of Erectile Function [IIEF]), reduction in PSA and PVR, satisfaction of the patient with the operation and adverse events occurring during the study were secondary outcome measures.
Discussion: The aim of this clinical study was to investigate whether PAE is a valid therapeutic option for LUTS that is not inferior to TURP in terms of efficacy and safety. This study also helped to define the profile of candidates for PAE and analyzed the benefits and complications associated with this new technique.
Keywords: benign prostatic hyperplasia; clinical trial; lower urinary tract symptoms; prostatic artery embolization; transurethral resection of the prostate.