Prostate volume in male patients with spinal cord injury: a question of nerves?


Correspondence: Jürgen Pannek, Chefarzt Neuro-Urologie, Schweizer Paraplegiker-Zentrum, Guido A. Zäch Strasse 1, CH-6207 Nottwil, Switzerland.




  • To assess the influence of standardized complete surgical deafferentation of the lower urinary tract by sacral deafferentation (SDAF) and sacral anterior root stimulation (SARS) on prostate volume in men with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Patients and Methods

  • In a prospective study, the prostate volume of men with SCI who underwent SDAF/SARS was measured using transrectal ultrasonography.
  • The prostate volumes of these men were compared with those of men with complete SCI but who did not undergo SDAF/SARS, those of men with incomplete SCI, and those of a historical sample of able-bodied men.


  • The median [25th;75th percentile] prostate volume of men who underwent SDAF/SARS (20.0 [14.0; 29.0]) and of men with complete SCI who did not undergo SDAF/SARS (20.0 [16.5; 29.0]) was significantly smaller than in the reference group (25.0 [5.0; 84.0]).
  • The mean prostate volume was associated with age in the reference group (r = 0.185; P < 0.001) and in men with incomplete SCI (r = 0.284; P = 0.031), but not in men with complete SCI, irrespective of SDAF/SARS.


  • The prostate volume of men with complete SCI was significantly smaller than that of able-bodied men.
  • Our data imply that sustained central innervation of the prostate plays an important role in prostate growth.