Supraspinal Neural Changes in Men With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Undergoing Bladder Outlet Procedures: A Pilot Functional MRI Study



      To explore brain activation patterns on functional MRI (fMRI) in men with BPH and BOO before and after outlet obstruction procedures.


      Men age ≥45 who failed conservative BPH therapy planning to undergo BOO procedures were recruited. Eligible men underwent a concurrent fMRI/urodynamics testing before and 6 months after BOO procedure. fMRI images were obtained via 3 Tesla MRI. Significant blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal activated voxels (P <.05) were identified at strong desire to void and (attempt at) voiding initiation pre- and post-BOO procedure.


      Eleven men were enrolled, of which 7 men completed the baseline scan, and 4 men completed the 6-month follow-up scan. Baseline decreased BOLD activity was observed in right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), bilateral insula, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and thalamus. Significant changes in BOLD signal activity following BOO procedures were observed in the insula, IFG, and cingulate cortices.


      This represents a pilot study evaluating cortical activity in men with BPH and BOO. Despite limitations we found important changes in supraspinal activity in men with BPH and BOO during filling and emptying phases at baseline and following BOO procedure, with the potential to improve our understanding of neuroplasticity secondary to BPH and BOO. This preliminary data may serve as the foundation for larger future trials.
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