The Journal of urology vol:145 issue:2 pages:304-8
Microwave hyperthermia is presently being investigated as a treatment for alleviating the symptoms of urinary outlet obstruction associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Two clinical techniques using intracavitary microwave applicators are being evaluated for safety and efficacy at various institutions. The transrectal technique uses a directional microwave radiator that is inserted into the rectum adjacent to the prostate. The transurethral approach uses a symmetrically radiating applicator located within the prostatic urethra. Transrectal prostatic heating techniques require surface cooling to prevent hazardous temperatures in the intervening rectal mucosa. Since transurethral applicators radiate from within the prostatic urethra, heating is confined to the obstructive tissue immediately surrounding the applicator. Concern has been expressed regarding the possibility of thermal injury to the prostate and adjacent rectum during transurethral hyperthermia treatment. In this report we present interstitial temperature measurements of prostatic and rectal temperatures in 5 patients. Temperature was observed to decrease at a rate of about 6C/cm. outward from the applicator. No clinically significant temperature increase was observed beyond 1 cm, outside the prostatic capsule or in the rectal mucosa.