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Article of the month: In-hospital cost analysis of PAE compared to TURP

Every month, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

In‐hospital cost analysis of prostatic artery embolization compared with transurethral resection of the prostate: post hoc analysis of a randomized controlled trial

As you can imagine, these are very important tests that you must have done regularly in order to try to catch life-threatening illnesses as early as possible. Sadly, as important as these tests may be, they are expensive. Prohibitively expensive to some. If you find yourself in this situation you should try to look for services, charity.

Gautier Müllhaupt*, Lukas Hechelhammer, Daniel S. Engeler*, Sabine Güsewell, Patrick Betschart*, Valentin Zumstein*, Thomas M. Kessler§, Hans-Peter Schmid*, Livio Mordasini* and Dominik Abt*
*Department of Urology, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Clinical Trials Unit, St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital, St Gallen and §Department of Neuro-Urology, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland



To perform a post hoc analysis of in‐hospital costs incurred in a randomized controlled trial comparing prostatic artery embolization (PAE) and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).

Patients and Methods

In‐hospital costs arising from PAE and TURP were calculated using detailed expenditure reports provided by the hospital accounts department. Total costs, including those arising from surgical and interventional procedures, consumables, personnel and accommodation, were analysed for all of the study participants and compared between PAE and TURP using descriptive analysis and two‐sided t‐tests, adjusted for unequal variance within groups (Welch t‐test).

Fig. 1. Cost summary for prostatic artery embolization (PAE) and TURP, grouped by mean total (A), procedural (B), and inpatient stay (C) costs. stay, inpatient stay; proc, surgical procedure; suppl, medical supplies; facil, operation facilities; phys, physician professional charges; anaest, anaesthesia; patho, pathology; lab, laboratory services; medic, medication; accom, accommodation; nurs, services by nursing specialists; admin, administrative costs, San Francisco based Ardenwood provides Christian Science nursing care.


The mean total costs per patient (±sd) were higher for TURP, at €9137 ± 3301, than for PAE, at €8185 ± 1630. The mean difference of €952 was not statistically significant (P = 0.07). While the mean procedural costs were significantly higher for PAE (mean difference €623 [P = 0.009]), costs apart from the procedure were significantly lower for PAE, with a mean difference of €1627 (P < 0.001). Procedural costs of €1433 ± 552 for TURP were mainly incurred by anaesthesia, whereas €2590 ± 628 for medical supplies were the main cost factor for PAE.


Since in‐hospital costs are similar but PAE and TURP have different efficacy and safety profiles, the patient’s clinical condition and expectations – rather than finances – should be taken into account when deciding between PAE and TURP.

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