Current Urology Reports

, 20:54 | Cite as

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: What Is the Role and Significance of Inflammation?

  • Granville L. LloydEmail author
  • Jeffrey M. Marks
  • William A. Ricke
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (K McVary, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the role and significance of inflammation as a putative additional factor contributing to lower urinary tract symptoms and the progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia. We review (1) the histologic definition of prostatic inflammation and its prevalence, (2) the effects inflammation in the prostate including on risk of acute urinary retention, and (3) the effects of systemic inflammation on the prostate and on voiding.

Recent Findings

Inflammation is a highly prevalent finding in the prostate, both on a histological and biochemical level. Men with inflammation have higher IPSS scores and increased prostate size; however, these differences appear to be imperceptibly small. Men with inflammation do experience a significantly increased risk of developing acute urinary retention, an event that is associated with significant morbidity. Recently, attempts have been made to identify more specific biochemical markers of local inflammation, and to identify regional patterns of inflamed tissue within the prostate which may be associated with higher IPSS scores, accelerated progression, and AUR. The effects of systemic inflammatory states, most notably MetS, and their role in LUTS have also been examined.


Inflammation is a common finding in prostates of aging men, but its contribution to lower urinary tract symptoms and benign prostatic hyperplasia progression appears to be small when considered as a clinically relevant entity. Advances in the understanding of different forms of inflammation, and their impact when experienced in different locations within the prostate, may refine this knowledge. Systemic inflammation affects voiding, including in the absence of a prostate, but again significant effects of systemic inflammation on the prostate itself are also difficult to demonstrate. Prostatic inflammation is associated with a significantly increased risk of acute urinary retention.


Prostatic inflammation Benign prostate hyperplasia Lower urinary tract symptoms Inflammation 


Funding information

This work was also supported by grants NIH U54 DK104310 and R01 ES01332 (WAR).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Granville L. Lloyd, Jeffrey M. Marks, and William A. Ricke each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Granville L. Lloyd
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey M. Marks
    • 2
  • William A. Ricke
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans HospitalUniversity of Colorado Anschutz School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Division of UrologyUCSOMAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Department of Urology, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical ResearchUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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