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Diagnostic assessment of lower urinary tract symptoms in men considering prostate surgery: A noninferiority randomised controlled trial of urodynamics in 26 hospitals

  • Marcus J. Drake,
  • Amanda L. Lewis,
  • Grace J. Young,
  • Paul Abrams,
  • Peter S. Blair,
  • Christopher Chapple,
  • Cathryn M.A. Glazener,
  • Jeremy Horwood,
  • John S. McGrath,
  • Sian Noble,
  • Gordon T. Taylor,
  • J. Athene Lane


Prostate surgery can improve lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) by relieving bladder outlet obstruction (BOO). However, surgery is less effective without BOO, or if detrusor underactivity is present. Urodynamics (UDS) can identify BOO and measure detrusor activity, but evidence in clinical practice is lacking.


Urodynamics for Prostate Surgery Trial: Randomised Evaluation of Assessment Methods (UPSTREAM) aimed to evaluate whether a care pathway including UDS would reduce surgery without increasing urinary symptoms.

Design, setting, and participants

UPSTREAM is a pragmatic, noninferiority, randomised controlled trial in men with bothersome LUTS, in whom surgery was an option, in 26 hospitals in England (ISRCTN56164274).


Participants were randomised (1:1) to routine care (RC) diagnostic tests, or RC plus UDS.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

The primary outcome was the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS; patient-reported outcome scale from 0 to 35 points) 18 mo after randomisation, with a noninferiority margin of 1 point. Urological surgery rates were a key secondary outcome. The primary outcome was compared between the arms using linear regression, analysed on an intention-to-treat basis.

Results and limitations

Between October 2014 and December 2016, 820 men (median age 68 yr) were randomised (393 and 427 in the RC and UDS arms, respectively). The UDS arm showed noninferiority of the mean IPSSs (UDS 12.6; RC 13.1; adjusted difference at 18 mo −0.33 [95% confidence interval {CI} −1.47, +0.80]). In the UDS arm, 153/408 (38%) received surgery compared with 138/384 (36%) in the RC arm (adjusted odds ratio 1.05; 95% CI 0.77, 1.43). A total of 428 adverse events (UDS 234; RC 194) were recorded, with related events similar in both arms and 11 unrelated deaths.


In this population, the UDS randomised group was noninferior to RC for the IPSS but did not reduce surgical rates. This study shows that routine use of UDS in the evaluation of uncomplicated LUTS has a limited role and should be used selectively.