Identification of patients at increased risk for prolonged urinary retention following radioactive seed implantation of the prostate

J Urol. 1998 Oct;160(4):1379-82.


Purpose: Urinary retention is a frequently reported complication following radioactive seed implantation of the prostate. If retention is refractory, a post-implant transurethral prostatic resection may ultimately be required to relieve obstruction, leading to an increased risk of urinary incontinence. In this series the incidence of prolonged urinary retention was determined, and the effect of pretreatment and treatment related factors was analyzed to identify high risk patients.

Materials and methods: A total of 251 patients with organ confined prostate carcinoma underwent transperineal prostate seed implantation. Of the patients 114 were implanted with 103palladium (103Pd) and 137 with 125iodine seeds. Of the patients who were implanted with 103Pd 90 received 3 months of neoadjuvant hormonal therapy. All patients had International Prostate Symptom Scores (I-PSS) recorded before implantation to assess the degree of urinary symptoms. In the patients receiving neoadjuvant hormones prostate volumes and I-PSS were recorded before initiation of hormone treatment and 3 months later at the time of implant.

Results: Urinary retention developed in 14 patients requiring catheterization for more than 48 hours. Median time to onset was 1 day after implant. Of these patients 6 ultimately required transurethral prostatic resection to relieve urinary obstruction. No patient had urinary incontinence following implantation or transurethral prostatic resection. Multivariate analysis revealed that pretreatment I-PSS, and combined treatment with hormonal therapy and 103Pd predicted for the development of retention. Patients with I-PSS 20 or greater had a 29% risk, I-PSS 10 to 19, 11% risk and I-PSS less than 10, 2% risk of retention. Neither patient age, clinical stage, prostate specific antigen, Gleason score, use of 125I nor prostate volume was significant. A subgroup analysis of patients receiving hormonal therapy and 103Pd revealed that those with persistent urinary symptoms (I-PSS 10 or greater) following 3 months of hormonal therapy had the greatest risk of prolonged retention (37%).

Conclusions: The overall risk of prolonged urinary retention following prostate implantation was low in our series. Using the I-PSS questionnaire, high risk patients can be identified before treatment. Patients with significant pretreatment urinary symptoms or persistent urinary symptoms following 3 months of hormonal therapy and then implantation with 103Pd have the greatest risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brachytherapy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Retention / epidemiology
  • Urinary Retention / etiology*