Prostatic arterial embolization for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia

Jae Hung Jung, Karen Ann McCutcheon, Michael Borofsky, Shamar J Young, Jafar Golzarian, Myung Ha Kim, Philipp Dahm, Vikram M. Narayan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: A variety of minimally invasive surgical approaches are available as an alternative to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) for management of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Prostatic arterial embolization (PAE) is a relatively new, minimally invasive treatment approach. Objectives: To assess the effects of PAE compared to other procedures for treatment of LUTS in men with BPH. Search methods: We performed a comprehensive search the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, three other databases, trials registries, other sources of grey literature, and conference proceedings with no restrictions on language of publication or publication status, up to 8 November 2021. Selection criteria: We included parallel-group randomized controlled trials (RCTs), as well as non-randomized studies (NRS, limited to prospective cohort studies with concurrent comparison groups) enrolling men over the age of 40 years with LUTS attributed to BPH undergoing PAE versus TURP or other surgical interventions. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently classified studies for inclusion or exclusion and abstracted data from the included studies. We performed statistical analyses by using a random-effects model and interpreted them according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. We used GRADE guidance to rate the certainty of evidence of RCTs and NRSs. Main results: We found data to inform two comparisons: PAE versus TURP (six RCTs and two NRSs), and PAE versus sham (one RCT). Mean age was 66 years, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) was 22.8, and prostate volume of participants was 72.8 mL. This abstract focuses on the comparison of PAE versus TURP as the primary topic of interest. Prostatic arterial embolization versus transurethral resection of the prostate. We included six RCTs and two NRSs with short-term (up to 12 months) follow-up, and two RCTs and one NRS with long-term follow-up (13 to 24 months). Short-term follow-up: based on RCT evidence, there may be little to no difference in urologic symptom score improvement measured by the International Prostatic Symptom Score (IPSS) on a scale from 0 to 35, with higher scores indicating worse symptoms (mean difference [MD] 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] –0.37 to 3.81; 6 RCTs, 360 participants; I² = 78%; low-certainty evidence). There may be little to no difference in quality of life as measured by the IPSS-quality of life question on a scale from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating worse quality of life between PAE and TURP, respectively (MD 0.28, 95% CI –0.28 to 0.84; 5 RCTs, 300 participants; I² = 63%; low-certainty evidence). While we are very uncertain about the effects of PAE on major adverse events (risk ratio [RR] 0.75, 95% CI 0.19 to 2.97; 4 RCTs, 250 participants; I² = 24%; very low-certainty evidence), PAE likely increases retreatments (RR 3.20, 95% CI 1.41 to 7.27; 4 RCTs, 303 participants; I² = 0%; moderate-certainty evidence). PAE may make little to no difference in erectile function measured by the International Index of Erectile Function-5 on a scale from 1 to 25, with higher scores indicating better function (MD –0.50 points, 95% CI –5.88 to 4.88; 2 RCTs, 120 participants; I² = 68%; low-certainty evidence). Based on NRS evidence, PAE may reduce the occurrence of ejaculatory disorders (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.73; 1 NRS, 260 participants; low-certainty evidence). Long-term follow-up: based on RCT evidence, PAE may result in little to no difference in urologic symptom scores (MD 2.58 points, 95% CI –1.54 to 6.71; 2 RCTs, 176 participants; I² = 73%; low-certainty evidence) and quality of life (MD 0.50 points, 95% CI –0.03 to 1.04; 2 RCTs, 176 participants; I² = 29%; low-certainty evidence). We are very uncertain about major adverse events (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.20 to 4.05; 2 RCTs, 206 participants; I² = 72%; very low-certainty evidence). PAE likely increases retreatments (RR 3.80, 95% CI 1.32 to 10.93; 1 RCT, 81 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). While PAE may result in little to no difference in erectile function (MD 3.09 points, 95% CI –0.76 to 6.94; 1 RCT, 81 participants; low-certainty evidence), PAE may reduce the occurrence of ejaculatory disorders (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.98; 1 RCT, 50 participants; low-certainty evidence). Authors' conclusions: Compared to TURP, PAE may provide similar improvement in urologic symptom scores and quality of life. While we are very uncertain about major adverse events, PAE likely increases retreatment rates. While erectile function may be similar, PAE may reduce ejaculatory disorders. Certainty of evidence for the outcomes of this review was low or very low except for retreatment (moderate-certainty evidence), signaling that our confidence in the reported effect size is limited or very limited, and that this topic should be better informed by future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberCD012867
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 29 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
UK-ROPE was supported by a medical device company, the British Society of Interventional Radiologists, and the British Association of Urological Surgeons. The NICE funded an independent academic unit to run the registry through a competitive tender (Ray 2018). The other study did not mention a funding source (Soluyanov 2018).

Funding Information:
Partially funded by an unrestricted grant from BTG plc (London, UK)

Funding Information:
Abt 2021 was supported by a grant from the research committee of St Gallen Cantonal Hospital. Device manufacturers supported two studies (Insausti 2020; Pisco 2020). One study reported no external funding (Carnevale 2016), and the others did not report the funding source (Gao 2014; Radwan 2020; Zhu 2018).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms/surgery
  • Male
  • Prostate/surgery
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia/surgery
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate/adverse effects

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review


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