Evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms related to uncomplicated benign prostatic hyperplasia in Italy: updated summary from AURO.it
Spatafora S, Casarico A, Fandella A, Galetti C, Hurle R, Mazzini E, Niro C, Perachino M, Sanseverino R, Pappagallo GL; for the AURO.it BPH Guidelines Committee. Ther Adv Urol. 2012 Dec;4(6):279-301.


Department of Surgery, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Maria Nuova, viale Risorgimento 80, 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy.



The first Italian national guidelines were developed by the Italian Association of Urologists and published in 2007. Since then, a number of new drugs or classes of drugs have emerged for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), new data have emerged on medical therapy (monotherapies and combination therapies), new surgical techniques have come into practice, and our understanding of disease pathogenesis has increased. Consequently, a new update of the guidelines has become necessary.


A structured literature review was conducted to identify relevant papers published between 1 August 2006 and 12 December 2010. Publications before or after this timeframe were considered only if they were recognised as important milestones in the field or if the literature search did not identify publications within this timeframe. The quality of evidence and strength of recommendations were determined according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework.


Decisions on therapeutic intervention should be based on the impact of symptoms on quality of life (QoL) rather than the severity of symptoms (International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) score). A threshold for intervention was therefore based on the IPSS Q8, with intervention recommended for patients with a score of at least 4. Several differences in clinical recommendations have emerged. For example, combination therapy with a 5α-reductase inhibitor plus α blocker is now the recommended option for the treatment of patients at risk of BPH progression. Other differences include the warning of potential worsening of cognitive disturbances with use of anticholinergics in older patients, the distinction between Serenoa repens preparations (according to the method of extraction), and the clearly defined threshold of prostate size for performing open surgery (>80 g). While the recommendations included in these guidelines are evidence based, clinical decisions should also be informed by patients' clinical and physical circumstances, as well as patients' preferences and actions.


These guidelines are intended to assist physicians and patients in the decision-making process regarding the management of LUTS/BPH, and support the process of continuous improvement of the quality of care and services to patients.