Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur Urol. 2009 Nov;56(5):798-809. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2009.06.037. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

Bipolar versus monopolar transurethral resection of the prostate: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Author information

  • 1Department of Urology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Incorporation of bipolar technology in transurethral resection (TUR) of the prostate (TURP) potentially offers advantages over monopolar TURP (M-TURP).


To evaluate the evidence by a meta-analysis, based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing bipolar TURP (B-TURP) with M-TURP for benign prostatic obstruction. Primary end points included efficacy (maximum flow rate [Q(max)], International Prostate Symptom Score) and safety (adverse events). Secondary end points included operation time and duration of irrigation, catheterization, and hospitalization.


Based on a detailed, unrestricted strategy, the literature was searched up to February 19, 2009, using Medline, Embase, Science Citation Index, and the Cochrane Library to detect all relevant RCTs. Methodological quality assessment of the trials was based on the Dutch Cochrane Collaboration checklist. Meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.0.


Sixteen RCTs (1406 patients) were included. Overall trial quality was low (eg, allocation concealment and blinding of outcome assessors were poorly reported). No clinically relevant differences in short-term (12-mo) efficacy were detected (Q(max): weighted mean difference [WMD]: 0.72 ml/s; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-1.35; p=0.03). Data on follow-up of >12 mo are scarce for B-TURP, precluding long-term efficacy evaluation. Treating 50 patients (95% CI, 33-111) and 20 patients (95% CI, 10-100) with B-TURP results in one fewer case of TUR syndrome (risk difference [RD]: 2.0%; 95% CI, 0.9-3.0%; p=0.01) and one fewer case of clot retention (RD: 5.0%; 95% CI, 1.0-10%; p=0.03), respectively. Operation times, transfusion rates, retention rates after catheter removal, and urethral complications did not differ significantly. Irrigation and catheterization duration was significantly longer with M-TURP (WMD: 8.75 h; 95% CI, 6.8-10.7 and WMD: 21.77 h; 95% CI, 19.22-24.32; p<0.00001, respectively). Inferences for hospitalization duration could not be made. PlasmaKinetic TURP showed an improved safety profile. Data on TUR in saline (TURis) are not yet mature to permit safe conclusions.


No clinically relevant differences in short-term efficacy exist between the two techniques, but B-TURP is preferable due to a more favorable safety profile (lower TUR syndrome and clot retention rates) and shorter irrigation and catheterization duration. Well-designed multicentric/international RCTs with long-term follow-up and cost analysis are still needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk