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    Embolization shows promise, wide applicability in BPH

    Prostate artery embolization (PAE) may offer positive clinical benefits for up to 6 months in patients with varying degrees of BPH, recent study results suggest.

    “Not only was it very successful, but it went above our expectations. We thought it would work in large and average-size prostates, but we didn’t think it would work across the board,” said lead investigator Sandeep Bagla, MD, of Inova Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria, VA.

    ALSO READ: BPH guideline adherence: ‘Room for improvement’

    For the study, which was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology annual scientific meeting in Atlanta, the authors looked at outcomes for 78 consecutive PAE patients who were treated between January 2011 and July 2014. They were categorized into three different analysis groups based on the size of the enlarged prostate (<50 cubic cm, between 50 and 80 cubic cm, and >80 cubic cm). The patients were assessed at 1, 3, and 6 months post treatment.

    Dr. Bagla said PAE offers less risk, less pain, and less recovery time than traditional surgery. He noted that PAE is associated with a reduced risk of bleeding, urinary incontinence, or erectile dysfunction compared to some BPH therapies.

    Among the 78 men treated, 75 cases were considered technically successful, with both blood vessels leading to the enlarged prostate blocked by PAE treatment. The authors found significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life in all three groups as measured by the AUA Symptom Index. There were no differences in outcomes among the three groups.

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    No patients reported a change in their sexual function. Dr. Bagla attributes this low rate of side effects to the fact that PAE is conducted via the femoral artery versus other treatments, which enter through the urethra or penis.

    “These patients were treated as part of their routine medical practice. It was not part of a trial. It is an alternative procedure for BPH. For it to be a device to be specifically approved for BPH, we are still a couple of years away from that,” Dr. Bagla said in an interview with Urology Times.

    Next: How the procedure was performed

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