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BJU Int. 2005 Jan;95(1):77-80.

Systemic stress responses in patients undergoing surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Department of Urology, University of Zagreb, University Hospital Sisters of Mercy, Vinogradska cesta 29, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.



To determine differences in systemic stress responses in patients undergoing three different types of surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), evaluated by measuring levels of stress variables, i.e. cortisol; acute-phase reactants, i.e. C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen; and antioxidants, i.e. total antioxidant status (TAS) and superoxide dismutase (SOD).


The study included 80 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria for surgery for BPH. Based on an ultrasonographic estimate of the prostate volume before surgery, all patients were allocated to one of three groups; group 1, prostate < or = 30 g and treated with transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP); group 2, prostate 30-80 g, treated with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP); and group 3, prostate >80 g, treated with a suprapubic transvesical prostatectomy (TP). Blood samples were taken from each patient on the day before and the day after surgery, and the acute-phase reactants and antioxidants measured; cortisol concentrations were also measured in 24-h urine samples the day before and 3 days after surgery.


There were significantly higher levels of cortisol, CRP and TAS, and significantly lower levels of fibrinogen and SOD in all study groups after surgery than before. Surgery and associated conditions, e.g. excitement, fear, blood loss, etc., lead to traumatic and oxidative stress, followed by a strong systemic stress response during and after surgery. Low fibrinogen levels after surgery had a different pattern from the other acute-phase reactants, as a result of increased fibrinolytic activity after TURP and TP.


The extent of the systemic stress response correlated fairly well with the degree of tissue damage, which differed in the three groups. Suprapubic TP caused the most tissue trauma and triggered the strongest systemic stress response. This response was moderate after TURP, while TUIP (a minor intervention) caused the least stress. Specific changes in stress markers could be used to improve surgery for BPH. Whether there is a benefit of antioxidant therapy during surgery for BPH should be evaluated in further studies.

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