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Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Jul;23(7):1715-32.

Evidence-based guidelines for the management of lower urinary tract symptoms related to uncomplicated benign prostatic hyperplasia in Italy: updated summary.

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Urology Complex Structure, Department of Surgery, Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy.



Despite the high prevalence and huge socio-economic impact of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in Italy, no national guidelines have been produced so far. This is a summary of the first Italian guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) related to uncomplicated BPH, prepared by a multidisciplinary panel under the auspices of the Italian Association of Urologists and introduced in Italy in 2003. An update compiled by the authors is also included.


Relevant papers published from 1998 to 2003 (updated to 2006) were identified through a structured literature review and the quality of evidence presented therein was graded according to the Centre for the Evaluation of Effectiveness in Health Administration (CeVEAS) system. Recommendations were based on evidence from the literature, but also on feedback from practitioners and specialists. MAIN FINDINGS/RECOMMENDATIONS: Given the prevalence of BPH, all men aged > or = 50 years of age should be asked about LUTS and informed about disease characteristics and therapeutic options, while sexual function should always be assessed in patients with severe and long-standing LUTS. Initial assessment should include medical history (including drug and co-morbidity history), digital rectal examination, urinalysis, International Prostate Symptom Score-Quality of Life (IPSS-QoL) and a voiding diary, while prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and measurement of prostate volume by suprapubic ultrasonography are indicated in fully informed patients with a life expectancy of > or = 10 years in whom BPH progression could influence treatment choices. QoL considerations should dictate whether to start active treatment. When QoL is not affected by LUTS, watchful waiting is indicated if symptoms are mild, acceptable if they are moderate. When QoL is affected, medical therapy with alpha1-blockers or 5alpha-reductase inhibitors (the latter indicated in patients with increased prostate volume) is appropriate. Combined therapy with alpha1-blockers + 5alpha-reductase inhibitors should only be considered in patients at high risk for progression (prostate volume > 40 mL or PSA > 4 ng/mL), since the incremental cost of combination therapy vs. monotherapy with alpha1-blockers or finasteride is prohibitive. Selection of the type of surgery should be based on the surgeon's experience, the presence of co-morbid conditions and the size of the prostate. Open prostatectomy and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) are recommended in patients with acute or chronic retention of urine, and acceptable in obstructed patients with moderate/severe symptoms and worsened QoL. Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) is acceptable when prostate volume is < or = 30 mL. Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) may be proposed to motivated patients where expert surgeons are available. Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) or transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) may be proposed to motivated patients who prefer to avoid surgery and/or do not respond to medical treatment. The possible effects of medical or surgical treatments on sexual function should always be discussed.


These guidelines are intended to provide a framework for health professionals involved in BPH management in order to facilitate decision-making in all areas and at all levels of healthcare.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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