Objectives. To compare directly the efficacy, safety, and durability of targeted transurethral microwave thermotherapy with that of alpha-blocker treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Methods. In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, 52 patients with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia received terazosin treatment and 51 underwent microwave treatment under topical anesthesia. The patient evaluation included the International Prostate Symptom Score, peak flow rate, and quality-of-life score before microwave treatment or initiation of terazosin treatment and at periodic intervals thereafter up to 18 months. Results. The mean International Prostate Symptom Score, peak flow rate, and quality-of-life score all improved significantly in both groups by 6 months. However, the magnitude of improvement was significantly greater in the microwave group than in the terazosin group. The significant between-group differences observed at 6 months in the mean International Prostate Symptom Score, peak flow rate, and quality-of-life score were fully maintained at 18 months, at which time the improvements in these three outcome measures were significantly greater (P <0.0005), by 35%, 22%, and 43%, respectively, in the microwave group than in the terazosin group. The actuarial rate of treatment failure at 18 months was significantly greater by sevenfold in the terazosin group. Adverse events were generally infrequent and readily manageable in both groups. Conclusions. Although the initial onset of terazosin action was more rapid, the longer term clinical outcomes of targeted microwave treatment were markedly superior. The more favorable results in patients who underwent microwave treatment were maintained for at least 18 months.
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