Treating benign prostatic hyperplasia with botulinum neurotoxin.
ABSTRACT Botulinum toxin (BoNT) has been increasingly used in the interventional treatment of several disorders; the use of this agent has extended to a plethora of conditions including focal dystonia, spasticity, inappropriate contraction in most gastrointestinal sphincters, eye movement disorders, hyperhidrosis, genitourinary disorders and aesthetically undesirable hyperfunctional facial lines. In addition, BoNT is being investigated for the control of pain, and for the management of tension or migraine headaches and myofascial pain syndrome. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition in ageing men; the goal of therapy is to reduce the lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with BPH and to improve the quality of life. However, medical treatment, including drugs that relax smooth muscle within the prostate and drugs that shrink the gland are not totally effective or without complications. The standard surgical treatment for BPH is progressively changing to minimally invasive therapies, but none of them has provided clear results. The use of BoNT-A to inhibit the autonomic efferent effects on prostate growth and contraction, and inhibit the abnormal afferent effects on prostate sensation, might be an alternative treatment for BPH. BoNT injections have several advantages over drugs and surgical therapies in the management of intractable or chronic disease; systemic pharmacologic effects are rare, permanent destruction of tissue does not occur, and graded degrees of relaxation may be achieved by varying the dose injected. In this paper, clinical experience over the last years with BoNT in BPH impaired patients will be illustrated.