Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Clinical Manifestations, Imaging, and Patient Selection for Prostate Artery Embolization

Tech Vasc Interv Radiol. 2020 Sep;23(3):100688. doi: 10.1016/j.tvir.2020.100688. Epub 2020 Oct 6.


Prostate artery embolization (PAE) has been shown to be safe and effective at treating lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), urinary retention, and hematuria caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). To distinguish from other causes of these symptoms, a multidisciplinary evaluation by a urologist and interventional radiologist should include a complete history to screen for any nonprostate causes of LUTS. The International Prostate Symptom Score is a useful objective measure to quantify the patient's urinary complaints. A physical exam should be performed to evaluate a patient's candidacy for angiography, and baseline laboratory evaluation should ensure that the patient's coagulation and kidney function are adequate. In certain situations, patients may benefit from cystoscopy and urodynamic evaluation to ensure their symptoms are related to BPH. A review of the patient's imagining can be the most important component of the evaluation of a patient prior to PAE, because a patient's gland size is often a primary driver of what procedural options available are to him. Men with small glands (≤30 mL) can be treated with several of the available minimally invasive transurethral procedures, but larger glands (≥80-120 mL) may be limited to holmium laser enucleation of prostate, thulium laser enucleation of prostate, surgical prostatectomy, or PAE, depending on institutional practice patterns. Secondary considerations include medical comorbidities, the risks for sexual side effects, the risk for bleeding, and the possible adverse events associated with the procedure, which are all low for PAE. Most patients suffering from symptomatic BPH resulting in LUTS, retention, or hematuria will benefit from PAE.

Keywords: Embolization; benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); hematuria; lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS); prostate; retention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / physiopathology
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostate / blood supply*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / physiopathology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / therapy*
  • Radiography, Interventional* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urodynamics