Washington, April 9 : Researchers at Mayo Clinic have found that many men who receive microwave therapy for enlarged prostates experience significant surges in blood pressure that could raise their risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Led by Benjamin Larson, a medical student at Cleveland Clinic, the study included 185 consecutive patients who received transurethral microwave therapy at four medical centres.
The researchers found that 42 percent experienced systolic blood pressure surges of more than 30 mm Hg, while 5 percent had surges of more than 70 mm Hg.
"Men who are candidates for this minimally invasive microwave therapy tend also to be at higher risk for cardiac events," said Lance Mynderse, M.D., the Mayo Clinic urologist who authored the study.
"Blood pressure surges of the magnitude identified in this study are troubling side effects of treatment that need to be monitored and managed," Mynderse added.
In Transurethral microwave therapy, a catheter is used to place a microwave device within the prostate, which is then heated to destroy excess tissue.
Researchers said that findings should not necessarily prevent physicians and their patients from using one of the six FDA-approved devices for transurethral microwave therapy, but they should take reasonable precautions given the strong possibility of blood pressure surges.
"Blood pressure monitoring should be a standard part of the procedure. Blood pressure readings should be taken throughout the procedure, multiple times. Unfortunately, that has not always been the practice for this office-based therapy," Mynderse said.
"Monitoring will enable physicians to identify the problem and adjust treatment. Patients also should be encouraged to continue their anti-hypertensive medications, particularly beta blockers, as they prepare for the procedure," Mynderse added.
The study was published recently in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.