Is early benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment worthwhile?

The medical armamentaria for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) have been extensively implemented over the past decade. Nevertheless, the timeliest moment for a possible treatment has not been fully established.

A systematic literature search in January 1996 until June 2016 was performed to answer the following question: in men with LUTS due to BPH, does early treatment result in better outcome? An ad hoc Population/patient Intervention/indicator Comparator/control Outcome (PICO) was developed.The Medline, PubMed and Scopus databases were searched. Each article title and abstract were reviewed for relevance and appropriateness with regard to the topic of this review.

Overtime, the introduction of novel medications and the implementation of surgical techniques have significantly improved the treatment outcomes and markedly reduced the rate of BPH surgery. Early treatments in patients at risk of disease progression may result in better clinical outcomes than a delayed approach. However, the evidence to support early intervention remains weak and criteria to identify the patient phenotype that could best benefit from immediate treatment remain ill-defined.On the contrary, the patients who ultimately undergo surgery following prolonged pharmacological treatment present with larger prostates, older age and comorbidities. At the same time, the technological progress has partly compensated this critical scenario, and commonly, a nonpejorative trend has been recorded in perioperative complications.

The ideal moment to begin a treatment in LUTS/BPH patients is still uncertain, and surprisingly, rare good quality studies are available on this topic.

Urologia. 2017 Jun 19 [Epub ahead of print]

Fabrizio Presicce, Cosimo De Nunzio, Andrea Tubaro

Department of Urology, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome - Italy.

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