How effective are alpha-blockers in increasing the success rates of trial without a catheter (TWOC) after an episode of acute urinary retention in men?
There is a lack of internationally agreed outcome measures for what constitutes successful TWOC. This makes meta-analysis difficult. Treatment was given for 1 to 3 days (and in 1 study up to a maximum of 8 days) before the catheter was removed.
Acute urinary retention is a urological emergency in men and requires urgent catheterisation. Any intervention which increases the rates of successful TWOC following an acute urinary retention episode would be potentially beneficial. Alpha-blockers relax prostatic smooth muscle cells, thereby decreasing the resistance to urinary flow and by doing so improve urinary symptoms.