Tag Archive for: Dirk De Ridder


Functional urology is coming to you!

Dirk resizedThis month’s edition features three interesting papers in the field of functional urology. Overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome has a prevalence of 14%, prostatitis symptoms have a prevalence in the male population of 8.2% and a substantial number of all men undergoing radical prostatectomy will remain incontinent. These are clinical entities that every urologist encounters in his daily practice.

The treatment of refractory OAB symptoms with anticholinergics, can be optimized by adding mirabegron in a flexible dose scheme. This has been nicely shown in a Japanese population by Yamaguchi et al. [1]. Despite the fact that Japanese health authorities recommend starting with a lower dose of 2.5 mg of solifenacin or 25 mg of mirabegron, these data can be extrapolated to other populations as well, where 5 mg of solifenacin and 50 mg of mirabegron are used as standard doses.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome are difficult to deal with. As there is a lack of well-designed prospective randomized controlled studies in this field, Rees et al. [2] used the Delphi consensus methodology to draw up experience- and science-based consensus guidelines. Their Delphi panel included 58 participants consisting of GPs, urologists, pain specialists, nurse specialists, physiotherapists, cognitive behavioural specialists and sexual health specialists. The guidelines give a well-structured overview of the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities for chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Post-radical prostatectomy incontinence varies widely from 3 to 87%. Artificial sphincters are still the main treatment for this complication. While the results in non-irradiated patients might be good in the long term, it remains unclear how external beam radiotherapy would affect the outcome of artificial sphincters in post-radical prostatectomy incontinence. Bates et al. [3] performed a meta-analysis on the complications occurring after the implantation of an artificial sphincter after radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy. The combination of radical prostatectomy and external beam radiotherapy increases the risk of infection and erosion and urethral atrophy and results in a greater risk of surgical revision compared with radical prostatectomy alone. Also persistent urinary incontinence is more common in this population.

These three papers highlight important and relevant problems in urology. It is clear from these papers that we need more insight and more research into the underlying mechanisms of these highly prevalent entities. With an ageing population that wants to remain active as long as possible, we need to invest more time, people and money in this field to improve the quality of life of these patients. Basic science and clinical science need to work together to improve our knowledge and understanding.

Functional urology is coming to you! You will not escape from this growing population.







Dirk De Ridder
Department of Urology, University Hospitals KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium



Research vibrations

Here is a randomised trial from Denmark to uplift your mood this European summer. Penile vibratory stimulation may help with the recovery of erectile function after nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy [1]. However, it does not hasten recovery of continence. Building on the European theme, we were discussing alternative ways of influencing research communities and colleagues during the European Association of Urology (EAU) meeting in Stockholm. One obvious rising star is ResearchGate (Fig. 1).

ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/) is a social networking site for scientists and researchers that allows them to share papers, exchange questions and find collaborators. ResearchGate has won the digital innovation of the year award from Focus Magazine in 2014. An important accolade in a world increasingly influenced and greatly amplified by the web and social media.

For a generation of scientists using Facebook, Twitter and similar social networks, ResearchGate has become a familiar site to exchange data and knowledge related to research. Similar to the other social network sites people can post comments, form groups, have profile pages and can ‘like’, ‘endorse’ and ‘follow’ other members. One can use it as an online bibliography and can even deposit published papers on the site. Members can also share negative results or experiments that are difficult to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

There is also a project section where groups can work together on projects in a secure environment. Forget Skype meetings at the last minute!

ResearchGate also introduces a new way of measuring the impact of a certain researcher on a scientific community. The ResearchGate score (RG score) is a new bibliometric tool that combines traditional parameters, such as the impact factor, with the user’s activity on the site, like posting or answering questions or the number of people that follow them. Also, the RG score of the peers that follow you will have an impact on your own RG score: the more influential your followers are, the higher your personal RG score will get.

Just as the Klout score is measuring the influence that one has in social media, ResearchGate could become an alternative measure not only of the scientific importance of a certain researcher but also of his or her interactivity. It is a measure for ‘scientific social network reputation’.

At the moment the relationship between impact factor, citation index and the RG score is difficult to establish, as the algorithm that is used to calculate the RG score is not widely known. If ResearchGate wants to establish the RG score as a respected measurement tool, some transparency will be helpful in future.

Since ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by Dr Ijad Madisch, Dr Sören Hofmayer and computer scientist Horst Fickensher, >4 million members have joined and the numbers are steadily increasing. Several other exchange platforms exist on the internet, but ResearchGate is certainly the most widespread at the moment. We think it is here to stay and claim a role as one of the tools to measure one’s scientific reputation.

Dirk De Ridder and Prokar Dasgupta*
BJUI Associate Editor, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, and *Guy’s Hospital, KCL and Editor-in-Chief, BJUI


  1. Fode M, Borre M, Ohl DA, Lichtbach J, Sønksen J. Penile vibratory stimulation in the recovery of urinary continence and erectile function after nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy: a randomised, controlled trial. BJU Int 2014; 114: 111–7


Bringing science closer to urologists

The BJUI has always promoted the best in basic science through its ‘Investigative Urology’ section. However, the new editorial team noticed a small problem – these articles were rarely cited, probably because they were rarely read. As we started speaking to our readers, the truth became rapidly obvious. Most urologists, being clinicians, could not understand the scientific content of these articles. Here was a major challenge. How were we going to attract our surgical readership to science?

Whilst maintaining our commitment to quality, we took three bold steps in discussion with our readership:

  1. Rename the section ‘Translational Science’, so as to highlight the potential clinical relevance of the best basic science papers.
  2. Assemble an editorial team of the best clinician-scientists, not just from molecular and cellular biology but other diverse fields, such as immunology, imaging, engineering and computational sciences.
  3. Precede original science papers with ‘Science made Simple’ articles. These were inspired by the highly successful For Dummies series from Wiley.

The idea behind For Dummies is making everything easier. With >250 million books in print and >1800 titles, For Dummies is the most widely recognised and highly regarded reference series in the world. Since 1991, For Dummies has helped millions make everything easier. Now, Dummies.com is bringing the ‘how-to’ brand online, where readers find proven experts presenting even the most complex subjects in plain English. Whether that means directions on how to hook up a home network, carve a turkey, knit your first scarf, or load your new iPod, you can trust Dummies.com to tell it like it is, without all the technical jargon. For Dummies is a simple, yet powerful concept. It relates to the anxiety and frustration that people feel about technology by poking fun at it with books that are insightful and educational and make difficult material interesting and easy.

Thus we originally thought of publishing articles entitled ‘Science for Dummies’.

Thankfully during a Visiting Professorship in Detroit, one of our science colleagues politely pointed out that urologists are anything but dummies. We have to thank her for suggesting a change of name to ‘Science made Simple’. The format is straightforward – simple language, to the point, along with a simple diagram.

This month we feature an original article on gene fusions in prostate cancer in particular TMPRSS2:ERG. This is made simple by a For Dummies style explanation from Deloar Hossain and David Bostwick. You only have to see the vividly simple diagram to understand how a genetic deletion or translocation can make the joining of two genes possible. Important discoveries of the future will occur if top scientists wherever they maybe, work more closely with their clinical counterparts. We are keen to attract the best science to the BJUI by providing an attractive publishing platform to our best scientists. We also hope that you, our readers will enjoy this new format, engage with quality science in the BJUI, cite these important papers and ultimately relate to their clinical relevance for the benefit of your patients.

Dirk De Ridder, Associate Editor BJUI
Jo Wixon, Publisher BJUI
Prokar Dasgupta, Editor-in-Chief BJUI and King’s Health Partners


Editorial: Is botulinum toxin not the solution to OAB after all?

Dirk De Ridder
Department of Urology, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium

The article by Mohee et al. highlights a problem that is often neglected: the outomes we see in clinical trials do not predict the success of the therapy in real life. We know this from anticholinergics: the study results are good, but the performance in real life is much poorer. Only 20-40% will continue to take the medication.

For botulinum toxin in OAB it is surprising to see that even in experienced hands only 38.7% of patients continued with the treatment at 36 months. The reasons to abandon the treatment were retention, the need for CISC and urinary tract infections. Moreover, 8.6% of the patients had no response at all after the initial injection.

Of course infections could have been avoided by using prophylactic antibiotics, but the other issues remain. How to explain the primary failures? How to manage the risk of CISC?

Given the fact that most patients abandoned the treatment within the first 3 years, more research would be needed on how to increase the treatment adherence of the patients after the initial injection.

This challenging article also stresses the fact that in a time where only RCTs stand a good chance of being published in journals, good retrospective cohort studies can be extremely important too.

Read the full article
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