european urology 49 (2006) 651–659
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Review - Neuro-urology – Voiding Dysfunction
A Shifted Paradigm for the Further Understanding,
Evaluation, and Treatment of Lower Urinary
Tract Symptoms in Men: Focus on the Bladder
Christopher R. Chapple a,*, Claus G. Roehrborn b
The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Shefﬁeld, UK
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
Article info Abstract
Article history: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are highly prevalent among older
Accepted February 3, 2006 men and have a negative impact on health-related quality of life. Fre-
Published online ahead of quent comorbidity with potential prostatic disease adds complexity to
print on February 17, 2006 the management of male LUTS. In this review, we discuss the patho-
physiological conditions that underlie male LUTS, and examine the
Keywords: relationship between symptoms and urodynamic ﬁndings. The contri-
Benign prostatic hyperplasia bution of bladder dysfunction to male LUTS, with a particular emphasis
Lower urinary tract on overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms, is explored. We also consider
symptoms pharmacotherapeutic options for male LUTS. Pharmacotherapies that
Overactive bladder target the prostate (a1-receptor antagonists and 5a-reductase inhibitors)
Antimuscarinics often fail to alleviate OAB symptoms, and may not be the most appro-
Tolterodine priate therapy for men with storage LUTS. Multiple studies have sug-
gested that antimuscarinic therapy alone or in combination with a1-
receptor antagonists improve OAB symptoms in men with and without
bladder outlet obstruction. Although these agents may represent appro-
priate ﬁrst-line therapies for men with OAB symptoms, the therapeutic
potential of antimuscarinics alone or in combination with a1-receptor
antagonists in this population should be evaluated in large-scale, well-
designed clinical trials.
# 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.
* Corresponding author. The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Shefﬁeld S10 2 JF,
United Kingdom. Tel. +44 74 271 2559; Fax: +44 74 279 7841.
E-mail address: email@example.com (C.R. Chapple).
1. Introduction substantial economic costs to society . The pre-
valence and severity of LUTS increase with age ,
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are associated and the progressive growth of the aged population
with great emotional costs  to individuals and group has broadened the societal impact of LUTS.
0302-2838/$ – see front matter # 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2006.02.018
652 european urology 49 (2006) 651–659
LUTS comprise storage symptoms (daytime urinary generally cannot be used to make a deﬁnitive
frequency, nocturia, urgency, urinary incontinence), diagnosis of BPH . Extraprostatic conditions
voiding symptoms (slow stream, splitting or spray- associated with LUTS include bladder dysfunction,
ing, intermittency, hesitancy, straining, terminal psychogenic disorders, congestive heart failure, and
dribble), and postmicturition symptoms (sensation polypharmacy . Only 25%–50% of men with
of incomplete emptying, postmicturition dribble) . histologically conﬁrmed BPH have LUTS .
A large-scale multinational study revealed that 90% Benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) is caused by
of men aged 50 to 80 suffer from potentially trouble- BPH. The term prostatic enlargement should be used
some LUTS . Questionnaire data from 1,271 men when BPH has not been histologically conﬁrmed .
with LUTS indicated that many men have storage and Only about half of men with BPH will develop BPE
voiding symptoms . The same study demonstra- . BPE may cause bladder outlet obstruction (BOO),
ted that voiding symptoms were the most common which is characterized by increased detrusor pres-
male LUTS, but that storage symptoms made up four sure and reduced urine ﬂow rate. BOO is diagnosed
of the ﬁve most bothersome LUTS. Although LUTS using simultaneous measurements of ﬂow rate and
are also highly prevalent in women, their frequent detrusor pressure obtained during urodynamic
comorbidity with prostatic disease in men adds com- pressure-ﬂow studies that use criteria deﬁned by
plexity to the management of male LUTS. the International Continence Society . BOO
This review focuses on a number of contempor- caused by BPE has both static (increased tissue
ary issues that relate to the management of male mass) and dynamic (increased smooth muscle tone)
LUTS. First, we discuss the appropriate terminology components in the prostate , which represent
for categorizing the pathophysiological conditions independent targets for pharmacotherapy.
underlying male LUTS. Second, we review the LUTS, when suggestive of BOO, is ‘‘a term used
relationship between symptoms and urodynamic when a man complains predominantly of voiding
ﬁndings. The relative contribution of bladder dys- symptoms in the absence of infection or obvious
function to male LUTS, with a particular emphasis pathology other than possible causes of outlet
on the subset of storage symptoms that characterize obstruction’’ . This term should be used until
overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome, is explored. pressure-ﬂow studies have conﬁrmed the presence
Finally, we consider pharmacotherapeutic options of BOO, because many men with LUTS do not have
for male LUTS, with particular attention to male OAB BOO. In a study based in the United Kingdom and
symptoms. We emphasize the need for large, Italy, Laniado et al.  reported urodynamically
placebo-controlled trials to investigate the efﬁcacy conﬁrmed BOO in only 48% of referred men with
and safety of antimuscarinics for the treatment of LUTS. Furthermore, in a study of 565 men with LUTS,
OAB in men, when used alone or in combination pressure-ﬂow studies revealed that 301 (53%) had
with a1-receptor antagonists. BOO . However, LUTS that are suggestive of BOO
may be caused by a poorly functioning detrusor
instead of prostatic pathology .
2. LUTS terminology In summary, LUTS may result from a complex
interplay of pathophysiological inﬂuences, includ-
Historically, a number of terms such as prostatism, ing prostatic pathology and bladder dysfunction.
symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and LUTS include all storage and voiding symptoms, and
clinical BPH have been used to describe male LUTS. the term LUTS should be used in place of terms like
However, we recommend that these pseudodiagnos- BPH or BOO unless the latter conditions have been
tic terms be eliminated from the medical vocabulary conﬁrmed by histology or urodynamics, respec-
because not all male storage and voiding symptoms tively. OAB symptoms form a subset of storage LUTS
are prostate related [6,7]. In fact, relationships bet- (urgency, frequency, urgency urinary incontinence
ween voiding symptoms and urodynamic markers of [UUI], and nocturia). The use of incorrect and
prostatic conditions are weak . Thus, Abrams  inconsistent terminology may lead to confusion
and Holtgrewe  recommended the use of the term among clinicians and patients and mismanagement
LUTS. The term BPH should be reserved for histo- of the conditions that underlie male LUTS.
pathologically conﬁrmed hyperplastic changes in the
prostate . Berry et al.  combined the results of
ﬁve major studies and reported that the prevalence 3. Overactive bladder
of histologically conﬁrmed BPH at autopsy increased
from 42% in men aged 50 to 59 to 88% in men older OAB is characterized by urinary urgency, with or
than 80. BPH is often associated with LUTS, but LUTS without UUI, usually with frequency and nocturia
european urology 49 (2006) 651–659 653
. Thus, OAB comprises the same symptoms as BOO. Therefore, scores on the storage and voiding
storage LUTS, and excludes types of incontinence subscales of the American Urological Association
other than UUI. OAB affects approximately 16% of (AUA) symptom index did not differ signiﬁcantly
men and women in the United States  and between men and women aged 55–79 who attended
Europe . It is similar to LUTS, and its prevalence a health fair in Milwaukee . A study of more than
increases with age [16–18]. Milsom et al.  reported 4,000 Japanese men and women at least 40 revealed
that the prevalence of OAB increased from 3% in higher International Prostate Symptom Scores (IPSS)
men aged 40 to 44 to 42% in those older than 75. for voiding symptoms in men, but comparable
Unlike most women with OAB, most men with OAB storage symptom scores between men and women
do not experience incontinence (55% versus 16%, . Romanzi et al.  evaluated men and women
respectively) [16,18]. with persistent storage symptoms and reported that
OAB is bothersome and has negative effects on 89% of patients whose primary symptoms were
health-related quality of life [16,18]. Ninety-two frequency and urgency had urodynamically con-
percent of men with at least 9 micturitions/day ﬁrmed DO. In patients with Parkinson’s disease and
reported that frequency was at least ‘‘a bit of a LUTS, storage symptoms that were determined by
problem’’ . Peters et al.  reported that at least the IPSS demonstrated signiﬁcant negative correla-
80% of men with urinary urgency and/or UUI and tions with volume at ﬁrst desire to void and
64% of those with nocturia reported some degree of maximum bladder capacity and signiﬁcant positive
bother associated with these symptoms. correlations with uninhibited bladder contractions
Male OAB symptoms are often caused by bladder during the storage phase . Furthermore, Barry
dysfunctions such as detrusor overactivity (DO) and et al.  reported that symptoms of frequency,
impaired detrusor contractility, BOO, or a combina- urgency, and nocturia were not signiﬁcantly corre-
tion of bladder dysfunction and BOO . DO is a lated with mean ﬂow rate, peak ﬂow rate (Qmax),
frequent cause of OAB symptoms and is urodyna- postvoid residual volume (PVR), prostate size, or
mically characterized by involuntary detrusor con- levels of prostate-speciﬁc antigen among 198 parti-
tractions during the bladder ﬁlling phase . DO and cipants in the BPH Treatment Outcomes Pilot Study.
BOO often occur together. In one study, 45% of 162 Finally, urgency, UUI, frequency, and nocturia were
men with LUTS had both BOO and DO . Two not signiﬁcantly correlated with Qmax, urethral
independent studies reported that nearly 50% of resistance, or prostate size in 107 men with LUTS
men with LUTS and urodynamically conﬁrmed BOO that are suggestive of BPH. However, all four OAB
had DO [22,23]. Similarly, Hyman et al.  con- symptoms were signiﬁcantly correlated with cysto-
ﬁrmed DO in 50 (46%) of 109 men with OAB metrically diagnosed DO .
symptoms and BOO. Symptom scores and urodynamic studies should
BOO may cause DO via cholinergic denervation of be considered separately in the evaluation of men
the detrusor and consequent supersensitivity of with LUTS . There is a weak correlation between
muscarinic receptors to acetylcholine . Increased symptoms (especially voiding symptoms) and BOO,
bladder outlet resistance may also result in ische- and no clinical or investigative features correlated
mia, increased detrusor collagen content, changes well with BOO demonstrated in pressure ﬂow
in electrical properties of detrusor smooth muscle studies . However, a combination of symptomatic
cells , and reorganization of the spinal micturi- and urodynamic assessments is helpful. More
tion reﬂex , all of which are associated with positive outcomes are associated with severe
the development of DO in animal models. However, symptoms and low ﬂow rates (<10 ml/s). Although
comorbid BOO and DO are not always evidence of a it is commonly used, uroﬂowmetry in general, and
cause-and-effect relationship between these two Qmax in particular, lack speciﬁcity for a reliable
conditions. urodynamic diagnosis of the cause of LUTS .
OAB symptoms can be caused solely by bladder Elevated PVR is associated with BOO, but the
dysfunction that is independent of prostatic pathol- relationship is not strong. Approximately 50% of
ogy. The observation that many men with OAB unobstructed elderly men have elevated PVR, and
symptoms do not have BOO  underscores the 30% of obstructed men do not. Pressure ﬂow studies
potential role of bladder dysfunction. The fact that have shown a clear association between classical
OAB symptoms are not limited to men provides obstruction (high pressure/low ﬂow) and more
further support for this assertion, bearing in mind positive surgical outcomes .
that female BOO is extremely uncommon. Clearly, urodynamically conﬁrmed BOO and
OAB is reasonably well correlated with DO; voiding symptoms are more predictive of positive
however, voiding symptoms correlate poorly with outcomes of transurethral resection of the prostate
654 european urology 49 (2006) 651–659
(TURP) than are DO and storage symptoms. Machino symptoms has not been demonstrated. Evidence
et al.  reported signiﬁcantly greater symptomatic also suggests that men with prostate volumes >40 cc
improvements after TURP in men who had pre- are most likely to experience signiﬁcant symptom
operative DO and BOO than in those with DO improvement with ﬁnasteride relative to placebo
without deﬁnitive obstruction. These authors also , and symptomatic improvements may require
reported that 60% of men with DO and equivocal six months of treatment . However, a study of
obstruction had persistent postoperative DO, com- dutasteride demonstrated that 5a-reductase inhibi-
pared with 27% of those in whom DO and BOO were tion reduced the severity of urinary symptoms in
conﬁrmed preoperatively . In another study, 33% men with baseline prostate volumes >30 ml .
(50/152) of men who had elective prostatectomies Even though many men with LUTS do not have
continued to experience at least one OAB symptom BOO and many of those who have BOO still complain
. These studies suggest that although BOO and of OAB symptoms after obstruction is relieved
voiding symptoms may be treated surgically, they pharmacologically or surgically, a recent study
may not be appropriate for men with DO and demonstrated that most pharmacotherapies pre-
predominant OAB symptoms. scribed for men with OAB symptoms target the
In summary, OAB symptoms are highly prevalent prostate rather than the bladder. Jumadilova et al.
in men and adversely affect mental and physical  used a medical and pharmacy claims database
well-being. Prostatic pathology and coexisting OAB of more than 30 geographically diverse managed
symptoms are not always causally related, and care plans to identify men at least 18 who were
many men with OAB symptoms do not have BOO. newly diagnosed with OAB. Of those without a BPH
In fact, OAB symptoms may be more indicative of diagnosis, 22% were prescribed BPH agents alone
bladder dysfunction such as DO than prostatic (a1-receptor antagonists, 5a-reductase inhibitors),
conditions such as BOO and often persist after 11% received OAB agents alone (antimuscarinics),
prostatectomy or TURP. Thus, practitioners who and 6% received both. Sixty-one percent of these
treat men with OAB symptoms should consider the men received neither therapy. Thus, 56% of men
possible involvement of bladder dysfunction. with OAB symptoms without a BPH diagnosis who
received OAB or BPH agents were prescribed BPH
agents alone .
4. a1-Receptor antagonists and 5a-reductase
5. Focus on the bladder: antimuscarinics
Despite the evidence that LUTS are not disease- or
condition-speciﬁc and hence, are not indicative of Correlations between DO and OAB symptoms 
BPH or BOO, the most commonly prescribed treat- clearly indicate a multifactorial pathogenesis for
ments for LUTS, including OAB symptoms, target bladder dysfunction in the development of storage
the prostate. a1-Receptor antagonists such as LUTS. Changes in the properties of detrusor smooth
doxazosin, terazosin, alfuzosin, and tamsulosin, muscle may lead to enhanced excitability and result
and 5a-reductase inhibitors such as ﬁnasteride in spontaneous detrusor contractions characteristic
and dutasteride, possess favorable tolerability pro- of DO . Age-related changes that may contribute
ﬁles and effectively treat voiding LUTS in many men to the development of DO include increases in
with BOO , but these agents may not be the most protrusion junctions, which may affect electrical
effective treatments for the OAB component of male activity between smooth muscle cells . Changes
LUTS. in unmyelinated, capsaicin-sensitive C-afferents
The low density of detrusor a1-receptors in the (which are believed to mediate sensations of bladder
unobstructed bladder precludes signiﬁcant direct fullness) may also induce the urge to urinate at low
effects of a1-receptor antagonists on detrusor con- bladder volumes . A combination of these
tractility , and studies that investigated the factors, which are often combined with central
effects of BOO on a1-receptor expression and a1- nervous system changes, may play a pivotal role.
receptor-mediated detrusor contractility have Antimuscarinics block acetylcholine binding at
yielded conﬂicting results [38,39]. Nonetheless, 12 muscarinic receptors throughout the bladder, and
weeks of treatment with the a1-receptor antagonist muscarinic receptor blockade inhibits detrusor
doxazosin failed to effectively treat LUTS in 65% of smooth muscle contraction . Although several
men with BOO and DO . Furthermore, the ability antimuscarinics are used to treat OAB, tolterodine
of histological changes mediated by 5a-reductase has been most extensively investigated for the
inhibitors to directly attenuate DO and related OAB treatment of male OAB symptoms. The efﬁcacy
european urology 49 (2006) 651–659 655
and safety of tolterodine were demonstrated in Historically, physicians have used increased PVR
recent trials, and suggest that antimuscarinic drugs and decreased Qmax to identify patients at risk for
successfully treat OAB in men. For example, men urinary retention. As noted earlier, PVR may
with OAB symptoms and UUI in the absence of increase with BOO, but it represents detrusor
clinically signiﬁcant BOO experienced signiﬁcant decompensation rather than prostatic obstruction
reductions in UUI episodes (À71%) compared with per se. Thus, urodynamic indicators of bladder
placebo (À40%) after 12 weeks of treatment with dysfunction are more predictive of urinary reten-
tolterodine extended release (ER) . Signiﬁcant tion. For instance, in urodynamic studies of men
reductions in total micturitions and urgency-related with LUTS and BOO, Te et al.  observed
micturitions were also observed in men with OAB signiﬁcantly greater pressure of maximum detrusor
symptoms who received tolterodine ER treatment contraction and detrusor contraction length in those
for 12 weeks . These reports suggest that with a history of urinary retention than in those
antimuscarinic treatment safely ameliorates OAB without. Studies also suggest that men with bladder
symptoms in men, but these were secondary decompensation (increased mass, decreased com-
analyses of subpopulations and should be conﬁrmed pliance, cholinergic denervation) secondary to BOO
in prospective clinical trials. or neuropathy secondary to diabetic or peripheral
Thirty-nine men with BPH and LUTS who had nerve injury may be at the greatest risk for
failed a1-receptor antagonist therapy because of developing AUR . Poor compliance, one element
adverse events or lack of efﬁcacy demonstrated of the decompensatory response, is associated with
signiﬁcant reductions in micturition frequency, DO and BOO . In cases of advanced decom-
nocturia, and AUA symptom scores after six months pensation secondary to severe, long-term obstruc-
of open-label treatment with tolterodine ER. A tion, normal bladder function is unlikely to be
signiﬁcant increase in Qmax and a decrease in PVR restored with a1-receptor antagonists or antimus-
were observed in the same study . These results carinic treatment.
also support a role for antimuscarinics in the
treatment of male OAB; however, large, placebo- 5.2. Combination therapy
controlled studies in men with OAB symptoms and
other LUTS are needed to demonstrate the efﬁcacy Despite the evidence that antimuscarinics may
and safety of antimuscarinics in this population of safely and effectively treat OAB symptoms in men,
men. only 40% of men with OAB symptoms who receive
drug treatment are prescribed antimuscarinics .
5.1. Antimuscarinic safety Antimuscarinics can be safely combined with
a1-receptor antagonists to treat men with OAB
There is concern that the inhibitory effect of symptoms in the presence or absence of BOO
antimuscarinics on detrusor muscle contraction [23,55]. Recent studies suggest that antimuscari-
could theoretically aggravate the voiding difﬁcul- nic/a1-receptor antagonist combination treatments
ties of, or cause urinary retention in men with may more effectively reduce male LUTS than
OAB symptoms and possible BOO. However, little a1-receptor antagonists alone. Fifty men with
evidence from clinical trials has supported the urodynamically conﬁrmed BOO and DO received
concern. In a meta-analysis of randomized con- tamsulosin for one week before being randomized to
trolled trials of antimuscarinics used to treat OAB, tamsulosin/tolterodine combination therapy or
only oxybutynin IR signiﬁcantly increased the risk tamsulosin alone. Signiﬁcant reductions in max-
of urinary retention compared with placebo . imum detrusor pressure during micturition and
Men with BOO and DO who received tolterodine maximum involuntary contraction pressure were
for 12 weeks demonstrated no change in Qmax and observed in men who received the combination
a reduction in detrusor pressure at Qmax. Tolter- treatment for three months. These patients also
odine-treated men demonstrated a statistically demonstrated signiﬁcantly increased Qmax and
signiﬁcant increase in PVR compared with placebo, volume at ﬁrst involuntary contraction, as well as
but whether this increase was clinically relevant is improvements in a quality of life measure. Changes
unclear. In this study, tolterodine was not asso- in maximum detrusor pressure, maximum invo-
ciated with an increase in acute urinary retention luntary contraction pressure, and quality of life
(AUR) that required catheterization . There was measures did not reach statistical signiﬁcance in
also no incidence of AUR among 39 men with BPH patients who received tamsulosin alone. There was
and LUTS who received open-label tolterodine ER no incidence of urinary retention in either treatment
treatment for six months . group .
656 european urology 49 (2006) 651–659
Combinations of antimuscarinics and a1-receptor may also improve symptoms. Adjuctive treatment
antagonists have also proven effective for many with an antimuscarinic would be considered for
men who have failed treatment with a1-receptor patients with a normal urinalysis and no clinically
antagonists alone. Of 44 men with urodynamically signiﬁcant PVR whose symptoms do not respond
conﬁrmed DO and BOO who failed three-month sufﬁciently to this therapy. This approach may
treatment with doxazosin, 32 (73%) experienced reduce the need for expensive and invasive
symptomatic improvements after three-month urodynamic procedures in patients whose OAB
treatment with doxazosin and tolterodine. Thirty- symptoms respond to treatment with a1-receptor
eight percent (6/16) of men with BOO alone also antagonists, 5a- reductase inhibitors (where appro-
experienced symptomatic improvements with the priate), antimuscarinics, or combination therapy.
combination therapy after symptoms did not
improve with doxazosin alone . One patient in
each treatment group developed AUR that required 7. Summary
overnight catheterization (personal communica-
tion). Patients in the Athanasopoulos et al.  Clinicians should use the terms OAB and LUTS to
and Lee et al.  studies were enrolled based, in describe symptoms and to use DO, BPH, and BOO
part, on the results of urodynamic evaluations. This only when appropriate diagnostic procedures are
aspect limits the applicability of the results to completed. We also emphasize that male OAB
clinical practice, where patients are initially treated symptoms are storage LUTS that may occur with
based on symptoms rather than on urodynamic BPH or BOO without being caused by the prostatic
endpoints. These studies suggest that antimuscari- condition. OAB symptoms may be the results of
nics alone or in combination with a1-receptor primary DO or DO secondary to BOO; thus, pharma-
antagonists or, possibly, 5a-reductase inhibitors cotherapies and surgical interventions that target
may provide the most efﬁcacious initial therapy the prostate may not alleviate OAB symptoms.
for men with OAB symptoms in the presence or When used alone or in combination with a1-receptor
absence of prostatic pathology. To date, no studies antagonists, antimuscarinic agents relieve male
have evaluated the efﬁcacy of combining antimus- OAB symptoms without increasing the risk for
carinics with 5a-reductase inhibitors. However, urinary retention in patients with comorbid BOO.
there is no evidence to suggest that 5a-reductase Successful initial treatment with antimuscarinics
inhibitors cannot also be safely combined with alone or in combination with other agents may
antimuscarinics for the treatment of men with BPH preclude the need for urodynamic testing in men
and OAB symptoms. Despite the success of combi- with OAB symptoms. Urodynamics should be
nation therapy in clinical trials, Jumadilova et al.  reserved for cases resistant to therapy or performed
reported that only 8% of 4806 men with OAB before a more invasive therapeutic intervention,
symptoms and a BPH diagnosis were prescribed a particularly in men with predominant storage
combination of agents targeting the prostate and the symptoms. At present, we must conclude that the
bladder. literature is based on pilot studies that use urody-
namic criteria for patient selection that do not
6. A new approach to the treatment of male necessarily represent real life practice. Some of
overactive bladder these studies are not placebo controlled or are
not adequately powered. Combination therapy with
Madersbacher  recently wrote that ‘‘Empirical an anticholinergic and an a1-receptor antagonist
treatment is considered to be justiﬁed when the in men with OAB and with suspected BOO is an
symptoms are bothersome and have impact on the interesting potential direction in pharmacotherapy
quality of life, when treatments have no or low that requires testing in well-designed clinical trials
morbidity and when early assessment of treatment before it can be recommended for routine clinical
success is planned.’’ We recommend further use.
evaluation of the potential for an empirical
approach to the initial treatment of male OAB Disclosures: Dr. Chapple is a scientiﬁc consultant to
symptoms. Our approach would rely on careful Pﬁzer, Schwarz Pharma, Astellas, Novartis and UCB.
assessment of OAB symptoms, a physical exam- Dr. Roehrborn has consulted with Pﬁzer Inc
ination, and urinalysis. An a1-receptor antagonist regarding the development of anticholinergic drugs
would be prescribed if BOO is suspected based on in the treatment of men with lower urinary tract
symptom assessment or uroﬂowmetry. In men symptoms, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and over-
with enlarged prostates, a 5a-reductase inhibitor active bladder.
european urology 49 (2006) 651–659 657
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Editorial Comment by benign prostatic enlargement/BPH, a relevant
Vincenzo Ficarra, Department of Urology, percentage of patients also experience storage
University of Verona, Italy symptoms .
vincenzo.ﬁcarra@univr.it In this review, Chapple and Roehrborn highlight
that overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms are a
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) cannot be subset of storage LUTS that may be caused by a
used to make a deﬁnitive diagnosis . In men with poorly functioning detrusor rather than by pro-
LUTS, the deﬁnitions of benign prostatic hyperpla- static pathology. Speciﬁcally, OAB symptoms may
sia (BPH) and bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) be the results of primary or secondary BOO or
require histological and urodynamic conﬁrma- detrusor overactivity (DO), but can also occur
tions, respectively. Although voiding and postmic- because of other forms of urinary dysfunction.
turition symptoms may be related to BOO caused An attractive possibility is that urgency might be
european urology 49 (2006) 651–659 659
related to the activation of non-detrusor muscari- lysis, absent postvoid residual and storage symp-
nic receptors, localised on urothelial or interstitial toms, who do not respond sufﬁciently to a1-
cells, in the absence of DO . That explains receptor antagonists, regardless of an invasive
why medical or surgical therapies that target the urodynamic diagnosis.
prostate may not improve storage symptoms. The The new pharmacological approach to the
logical consequence of the shifted paradigm that treatment of OAB in patients with suspected BOO
focuses on the bladder is the potential use of might be wise advice, based on a valid rationale. Its
antimuscarinic drugs, alone or in combination application in real-life practice, however, has to be
with a1-receptor antagonists, in patients with based on larger and well-designed randomised
bothersome OAB symptoms. This is clearly an controlled trials, which are still lacking.
interesting expert opinion that is supported by two
recent studies that investigated the role of tolter-
odine in combination with tamsulosin  or
doxazosin  in men with BOO. Those pilot studies,
which analysed fewer than 100 patients, demon-  Abrams P, Cardozo L, Fall M, et al. The standardization of
strated favourable preliminary results in terms of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from
both efﬁcacy and safety. Speciﬁcally, tolterodine the standardization sub-committee of the International
was not associated with an increased risk of Continence Society. Neurol Urodyn 2002;21:167–78.
urinary retention. This issue could be explained  Reynard JM. Does anticholinergic medication have a role
by considering that antimuscarinics act mainly for men with lower urinary tract symptoms/benign pro-
during the storage phase, while their effects static hyperplasia either alone or in combination with
decrease during the voiding phase when a massive other agents? Curr Opin Urol 2004;14:13–6.
release of acetylcholine is present .  Andersson KE. Antimuscarinics for treatment of over-
active bladder. Lancet Neurol 2004;3:46–53.
The results obtained in the pilot studies that
 Lee JY, Kim HK, Koh JS, et al. Comparison of doxazosin
combined tolterodine and a1-receptor antagonists
with or without tolterodine in men with symptomatic
can be generalized only to patients with urodyna-
bladder outlet obstruction and an overactive bladder.
mically conﬁrmed DO and BOO. Those patients are BJU Int 2004;94:817–20.
different from those described in the scenario of  Athanasopoulos A, Gyftopoulos K, Giannitsas K, et al.
the proposed new ‘‘empirical’’ approach to the Combination treatment with an alpha-blocker plus an
treatment of OAB symptoms in patients with LUTS anticholinergic for bladder outlet obstruction: a pros-
that are suggestive of BPH. Antimuscarinic drugs pective, randomised, controlled study. J Urol 2003;169:
are proposed for the patients with normal urina- 2253–6.