Objective: To compare prostatic artery embolisation (PAE) with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia in terms of patient reported and functional outcomes.
Design: Randomised, open label, non-inferiority trial.
Setting: Urology and radiology departments of a Swiss tertiary care centre.
Participants: 103 patients aged ≥40 years with refractory lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia were randomised between 11 February 2014 and 24 May 2017; 48 and 51 patients reached the primary endpoint 12 weeks after PAE and TURP, respectively.
Interventions: PAE performed with 250-400 μm microspheres under local anaesthesia versus monopolar TURP performed under spinal or general anaesthesia.
Main outcomes and measures: Primary outcome was change in international prostate symptoms score (IPSS) from baseline to 12 weeks after surgery; a difference of less than 3 points between treatments was defined as non-inferiority for PAE and tested with a one sided t test. Secondary outcomes included further questionnaires, functional measures, magnetic resonance imaging findings, and adverse events; changes from baseline to 12 weeks were compared between treatments with two sided tests for superiority.
Results: Mean reduction in IPSS from baseline to 12 weeks was -9.23 points after PAE and -10.77 points after TURP. Although the difference was less than 3 points (1.54 points in favour of TURP (95% confidence interval -1.45 to 4.52)), non-inferiority of PAE could not be shown (P=0.17). None of the patient reported secondary outcomes differed significantly between treatments when tested for superiority; IPSS also did not differ significantly (P=0.31). At 12 weeks, PAE was less effective than TURP regarding changes in maximum rate of urinary flow (5.19 v 15.34 mL/s; difference 10.15 (95% confidence interval -14.67 to -5.63); P<0.001), postvoid residual urine (-86.36 v -199.98 mL; 113.62 (39.25 to 187.98); P=0.003), prostate volume (-12.17 v -30.27 mL; 18.11 (10.11 to 26.10); P<0.001), and desobstructive effectiveness according to pressure flow studies (56% v 93% shift towards less obstructive category; P=0.003). Fewer adverse events occurred after PAE than after TURP (36 v 70 events; P=0.003).
Conclusions: The improvement in lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia seen 12 weeks after PAE is close to that after TURP. PAE is associated with fewer complications than TURP but has disadvantages regarding functional outcomes, which should be considered when selecting patients. Further comparative study findings, including longer follow-up, should be evaluated before PAE can be considered as a routine treatment.