Does Prostate Size Increase Prostate Biopsy Problems?

Men who have a large prostate or who have been hospitalized during the year prior to undergoing prostate biopsy are at increased risk for prostate biopsy complications. These were the results of a study presented on May 21, 2012 at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

More than one million prostate biopsies are performed in the United States each year, and the transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsy is the standard approach used by most urologists. Although studies have explored the complications associated with prostate biopsy, little is known about risk factors for these complications.

In this new study, investigators evaluated data regarding 1,357 prostate biopsies performed from 2006 to 2010, including any complications that occurred within 30 days of the procedure. The researchers also had information about each patient’s medical history.

The primary complication was prostate infection after biopsy (2.65% of cases), followed by sepsis (1.84%), urinary retention (1.11%), vasovagal reaction (0.06%), bleeding (0.81%), and other (1.4%). Both larger prostate size and prior hospitalization within one year were significant risks for any complication of prostate biopsy.

Specifically, for every 20 gram increase in size of the prostate, there was a 30% increase in the odds of developing any complication after biopsy. On the positive side, men who had a history of urinary tract infection had a decreased risk for any complication of prostate biopsy.

This study identified large prostate glands and a history of hospitalization within one year prior to biopsy as risk factors for complications associated with prostate biopsy. Men who plan to undergo prostate biopsy should discuss these risks and questions about prostate biopsy recovery with their physician.