Intended for healthcare professionals


Benign prostatic hyperplasia

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 06 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:343

Medical treatment provides short term symptom relief and reduces complications

  1. Roger Kirby, Consultant urologist.
  1. St George's Hospital, London SW17 0QT

    The traditional goals of treating benign prostatic hyperplasia—symptomatic relief and improved urinary flow rate—have been challenged by a recent study.1 This study, by McConnell et al, suggests that medical treatment with the 5α align=baseline> reductase inhibitor finasteride can prevent the longer term complications associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia such as acute urinary retention and the need for surgical intervention. This is one of several studies published recently that help us understand more about the risk factors and management of acute urinary retention.

    Jacobsen et al reported on the risk factors associated with acute urinary retention in a community study of 2115 men.2 They found a direct relation between the risk of developing retention and lower urinary tract symptoms, depressed peak urinary flow rate, enlarged prostate, and old age. This evidence suggests a progressive nature to the disease, which in the past has been lacking and which should be addressed if new …

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