Prostate Biopsies Rarely Lead to Hospitalization

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Hospital admissions related to a prostate needle biopsy (PNB) are on the increase, but they occur in less than 1% of men who undergo PNB and are not associated with excess mortality, researchers concluded in an online report in European Urology.

“Thus for healthy men with sufficient life expectancy to benefit from early prostate cancer detection, the risk of biopsy-related complications should not deter men from undergoing a recommended prostate biopsy,” researchers led by Stacy Loeb, MD, of New York University, wrote.

Dr. Loeb and her colleagues examined the risk of infectious complications and hospital admissions after PNB in the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer, (Rotterdam section). Febrile complications and hospital admissions were assessed by questionnaires two weeks after PNB.

Of 9,241 completed questionnaires, 392 (4.2%) reported fever and 78 (0.8%) reported hospital admission. Most fevers were managed on an outpatient basis, but nearly 82% of hospital admissions were for infection. Only two patients required admission to an intensive care unit. No patient died from biopsy-related complications.

In a multivariable analysis, an enlarged prostate (greater than 40 cm3) and diabetes each was associated with a significant 48% increased risk of fever. Later year of biopsy was the only factor significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admission.

Similar to studies in the United States and Canada, the study by Dr. Loeb's group found a significant increase in the rate of hospitalization within two weeks of prostate biopsy.

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