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Water vapor thermal therapy (WVTT) is a minimally invasive procedure for treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There are no known systematic reviews reporting the effectiveness and safety of this increasingly common BPH therapy. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies utilizing WVTT for symptomatic BPH. The international prostate symptom score (IPSS), IPSS-quality of life (IPSS-QOL), BPH impact index (BPHII), and maximum flow rate (Qmax) were calculated as the weighted mean difference relative to baseline and reported in minimal clinically important difference (MCID) units. MCID thresholds were -3 for IPSS, -0.5 for IPSS-QOL, -0.5 for BPHII, and 2 mL/s for Qmax. The surgical retreatment rate was calculated using life-table methods. We identified 5 cohorts treated with WVTT from 4 studies (514 patients; 40% with median lobe obstruction) with 2 years median follow-up (range: 6 months to 4 years). The IPSS, IPSS-QOL, BPHII, and Qmax significantly improved at all intervals between 3 months and 4 years; this benefit ranged from 3.3 to 3.8 MCID units for IPSS, 3.9 to 4.6 MCID units for IPSS-QOL, 6.8 to 8.2 MCID units for BPHII, and 1.5 to 3.0 MCID units for Qmax. The surgical retreatment rate was 7.0% at 4 years of follow-up data. Most adverse events were nonserious and transient; dysuria, urinary retention, and urinary tract infection were most common. No cases of de novo erectile dysfunction occurred. WVTT provided improvement in BPH symptoms that exceeded established MCID thresholds, preserved sexual function, and was associated with low surgical retreatment rates over 4 years.


Larry E Miller, Bilal Chughtai, Kevin McVary, Ricardo R Gonzalez, Sirikan Rojanasarot, Kyle DeRouen, Samir Bhattacharyya. Water vapor thermal therapy for lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine. 2020 Jul 24;99(30):e21365

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PMID: 32791742

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