Prostatic artery embolization is a safe and effective alternative to TURP, laser and microwave treatments

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Sandeep Bagla
Sandeep Bagla

In a presentation at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Scientific Annual Meeting (13–18 April 2013, New Orleans, USA) Sandeep Bagla, Inova Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria, USA, spoke about the results of 21 patients (out of 30) who had been treated with prostatic artery embolization.

He said that, previous to prostatic artery embolization, two million US men avoided transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), laser and microwave treatment as they could possibly cause impotence, urinary leaking, incontinence, bleeding, pain and stricture narrowing and infection.

The patients enrolled had moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, the mean age of the patients was 67 years old, with an average American Urological Association score of 25.5, mean quality of life score of 5.7, and average prostate volume of 70cc. The follow-up is expected to be at two years to assess the long-term outcomes.

The early findings of the study, according to Bagla, showed that 13 of 14 men (92%) who had prostatic artery embolization noticed a significant decrease in symptoms after four weeks. None of the men suffered any major complications, such as impotence, leaking urine or infection.


According to the speaker, the potential for prostatic artery embolization is that it can reduce lower urinary tract symptoms. He said it is safe and can improve quality of life and added that the implications for the treatment (from the results of this cohort) are that it can potentially eliminate the need for daily use of medication.

Enrolment of 30 men for the first prospective US study to evaluate prostatic artery embolization for enlarged prostates is currently underway and is expected to be completed by autumn, said Bagla. The study is intended to examine clinical success and safety and will follow patients for two years to assess long-term results.