A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis on the Use of Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors Alone or in Combination with α-Blockers for Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Due to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Gacci M, Corona G, Salvi M, Vignozzi L, McVary KT, Kaplan SA, Roehrborn CG, Serni S, Mirone V, Carini M, Maggi M. Eur Urol. 2012 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]


Department of Urology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.



Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5-Is) have showed significant improvements in both lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and erectile dysfunction (ED) in men affected by one or both conditions, without a significant increase in adverse events. However, the results are inconsistent.


Perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of available prospective and cross-sectional studies on the use of PDE5-Is alone or in combination with α1-adrenergic blockers in patients with LUTS/benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).


A systematic search was performed using the Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases through September 2011 including the combination of the following terms: LUTS, BPH, PDE5-Is, sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, udenafil, α-blockers, and α1-adrenergic blocker. The meta-analysis was conducted according to the guidelines for observational studies in epidemiology.


Of 107 retrieved articles, 12 were included in the present meta-analysis: 7 on PDE5-Is versus placebo, with 3214 men, and 5 on the combination of PDE5-Is with α1-adrenergic blockers versus α1-adrenergic blockers alone, with 216 men. Median follow-up of all RCTs was 12 wk. Combining the results of those trials, the use of PDE5-Is alone was associated with a significant improvement of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score (+5.5; p<0.0001) and International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) (-2.8; p<0.0001) but not the maximum flow rate (Q(max)) (-0.00; p=not significant) at the end of the study as compared with placebo. The association of PDE5-Is and α1-adrenergic blockers improved the IIEF score (+3.6; p<0.0001), IPSS score (-1.8; p = 0.05), and Q(max) (+1.5; p<0.0001) at the end of the study as compared with α-blockers alone.


The meta-analysis of the available cross-sectional data suggests that PDE5-Is can significantly improve LUTS and erectile function in men with BPH. PDE5-Is seem to be a promising treatment option for patients with LUTS secondary to BPH with or without ED.