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Prostatic urethral length as a predictive factor for surgical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, multiinstitutional study

  • Bum Soo Kim 1,
  • Young Hwii Ko 2,
  • Phil Hyun Song 2,
  • Tae-Hwan Kim 1,
  • Ki Ho Kim 3,
  • Byung Hoon Kim 4
1 Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea 2 Department of Urology, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea 3 Department of Urology, Dongguk University School of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea 4 Department of Urology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

Publication: Prostate International, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages 30-34

DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.prnil.2018.06.002


We hypothesized that prostatic anatomical factors may affect the progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and analyzed whether prostatic anatomical factors could be predictive of the risk of surgery.

Materials and methods

From February to October 2014, 679 men older than 40 years who had lower urinary tract symptoms and enlarged prostates were enrolled from five medical centers. Patients’ medical characteristics, serum prostate-specific antigen levels, transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) results, and uroflowmetry were analyzed. Using TRUS in all patients, the total prostate volume, transitional zone volume, prostatic urethral length, transitional zone urethral length, intravesical prostatic protrusion, and prostatic urethral angle were measured. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with the risk of surgery. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine cutoff values for significant variables.


Of 679 patients, 37 (5.4%) underwent BPH-related surgery. Prostatic urethral length and transitional zone urethral length were independently associated with the risk of surgery. Age, serum prostate-specific antigen levels, peak flow rate, postvoid residual urine, and other anatomical factors determined by TRUS were not statistically significant with respect to the risk of surgery. Using receiver operating characteristic curve–based predictions, the best cutoff values for prostatic and transitional zone urethral length were 4.53 cm (sensitivity: 83.3%, specificity: 61.6%) and 3.35 cm (sensitivity: 83.3%, specificity: 77.9%), respectively.


This study showed that patients with BPH with longer prostatic and transitional zone urethral lengths had a higher risk of surgery. Prostatic and transitional zone urethral length may be useful predictive factors for medical treatment failure in patients with BPH.