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BMJ Clin Evid. 2011 Aug 26;2011. pii: 1801.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia and male lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

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and Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK.



Lower urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and bladder outlet obstruction may affect up to 30% of men in their early 70s. Symptoms can improve without treatment, but the usual course is a slow progression of symptoms, with acute urinary retention occurring in 1% to 2% of men with BPH per year.


We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of medical, herbal, and surgical treatments? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to July 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).


We found 63 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.


In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, alpha-blockers, beta-sitosterol plant extract, Pygeum africanum, rye grass pollen extract, saw palmetto plant extracts, transurethral electrovaporisation, transurethral Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate, transurethral microwave thermotherapy, transurethral needle ablation, and transurethral resection (including transurethral resection versus transurethral incision, and transurethral resection versus visual laser ablation/laser vaporisation).

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