WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A minimally invasive treatment that reduces urinary tract symptoms for men with enlarged prostates maintains its effectiveness for at least three years after patients undergo the therapy, according to research presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting on March 8. This study of 1,000 men is the largest of its kind to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of prostate artery embolization (PAE).
Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is one of the most common prostate problems occurring in men older than 50. Researchers also found that PAE, developed and performed by interventional radiologists, is especially effective in men with BPH who also have acute urinary retention and in patients with very large prostates.
"Prostate artery embolization gives men with BPH a treatment option that is less invasive than other therapies and allows them to return to their normal lives sooner," said João Martins Pisco, M.D., an interventional radiologist at St. Louis Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, and the study's lead author. "I often see patients who are relieved to find out about PAE because they are not able to tolerate medications for BPH or don't want traditional surgery."
Between March 2007 and March 2016, Pisco and his team performed PAE on 1,000 men who averaged 67 years of age. All patients were evaluated in the short term (one, three, and six months), 807 patients were seen through the medium term (every six months between six months and three years), and 406 patients were evaluated long term (every year after three years).
During each evaluation, the men's symptoms were measured by the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), which tests for the blockage of urine flow, and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Researchers also measured the size of the prostate and the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination. They also evaluated the peak urinary flow rate and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, a test used to screen for prostate cancer.
The data from these measures revealed at the short-term mark that the treatment had an 89 percent cumulative success rate—measuring the success across all variables through the given testing period. There was an 82 percent success rate at the medium-term mark and a 78 percent success rate at the long-term mark.
During PAE, an interventional radiologist makes a tiny incision in either the groin or wrist to insert a catheter into an artery and, using image guidance, directs the catheter to the blood vessels on both sides of the enlarged prostate gland. Once there, the doctor uses microscopic beads to block the blood flow to specific areas of the prostate, depriving those cells of oxygen, which results in the gland's shrinkage.
In an additional analysis, researchers found that among 112 patients who also suffered acute urinary retention (AUR) before undergoing PAE, 106 or 94.6 percent had their catheter removed between two days and three months after treatment. At medium-term and long-term follow up, 95 of the 112 (84.8 percent) and 89 of the 112 (78.5 percent) did not experience any recurrence of their AUR.
The team also performed PAE in 210 patients who had limited treatment options due to extreme enlargement of the prostate (larger than 100 cm³). Of these men, 84 percent experienced cumulative success at short-term evaluation and 76.2 percent at medium- and long-term.
About the Society of Interventional Radiology
The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 7,000 practicing interventional radiology physicians, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies.
SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology