Non-antibiotic strategies for the prevention of infectious complications following prostate biopsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Benjamin Pradere, Rajan Veeratterapillay, Konstantinos Dimitropoulos, Yuhong Yuan, Muhammad Imran Omar, Steven MacLennan, Tommaso Cai, Franck Bruyère, Riccardo Bartoletti, Bela Köves, Florian Wagenlehner, Gernot Bonkat, Adrian Pilatz* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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PURPOSE: We identify which nonantibiotic strategies could reduce the risk of infectious complications following prostate biopsy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a literature search on MEDLINE®, Embase® and the Cochrane Database for randomized controlled trials (inception to May 2020) assessing nonantibiotic interventions in prostate biopsy. Primary outcome was pooled infectious complications (fever, sepsis and symptomatic urinary tract infection) and secondary outcome was hospitalization. Cochrane risk of bias tool and GRADE approach were used to assess the bias and the certainty of evidence. The study protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42015026354).

RESULTS: A total of 90 randomized controlled trials (16,941 participants) were included in the analysis, with 83 trials being categorized into 1 of 10 different interventions. Transperineal biopsy was associated with significantly reduced infectious complications as compared to transrectal biopsy (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.33-0.92, p=0.02, I 2=0%, 1,330 participants, 7 studies). Rectal preparation with povidone-iodine was also shown to reduce infectious complications (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.38-0.65, p <0.000001, I 2=27%, 1,686 participants, 8 studies) as well as hospitalization (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.21-0.69, p=0.002, I 2=0%, 620 participants, 4 studies). We found no difference in infectious complications/hospitalization for 6 other interventions, ie number of biopsy cores, periprostatic nerve block, number of injections for periprostatic nerve block, needle guide type, needle type and rectal preparation with enema. In 2 interventions (needle diameter, rectal preparation with chlorhexidine) meta-analysis was not possible. Finally, 7 studies had unique interventions. The certainty of evidence was rated as low/very low for all interventions.

CONCLUSIONS: Transperineal biopsy significantly reduces infectious complications compared to transrectal biopsy and should therefore be preferred. If transrectal biopsy is performed, rectal preparation with povidone-iodine is highly recommended. The other investigated nonantibiotic strategies did not significantly influence infection and hospitalization after prostate biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-663
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
Early online date7 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Emma Smith from the EAU Guidelines Office assisted with the systematic review, and Robert Pickard (deceased), Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, initiated this review.


  • prostate
  • infection
  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • Biopsy
  • RISK
  • biopsy
  • infections
  • PSA


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