Comparison of 3 different methods of anesthesia before transrectal prostate biopsy: a prospective randomized trial.



Periprostatic nerve block (PNB) is the most common anesthesia technique used before prostate biopsy. However, needle punctures for anesthetic infiltration may be painful and cause higher infectious complications. We assessed whether addition of rectal lidocaine gel would improve its efficacy. We also investigated the efficacy and safety of tramadol, a codeine derivative, as a noninvasive method.


A total of 300 patients who underwent prostate biopsies were randomized into 4 groups of controls, PNB, perianal/intrarectal lidocaine gel plus PNB and tramadol. Pain was assessed with a numeric analog scale.


Each group consisted of 75 patients, and there was a statistically significant difference among pain scores (p = 0.001). Mean pain scores were 4.63 for controls, 2.57 for PNB, 2.03 for infiltration plus gel group and 3.11 for tramadol. Pain and discomfort were least in PNB plus gel arm. The difference of pain score between PNB alone and tramadol group did not reach statistical significance. Infectious complications were higher in the combination group, whereas there were no complications with tramadol.


Any form of analgesia/anesthesia was superior to none. The combination of PNB plus gel provided significantly better analgesia compared to PNB alone or tramadol. If this can be duplicated in other trials, the combination may be accepted as the new gold standard of anesthesia for prostate biopsy. The efficacy of tramadol was similar to that of PNB, and was free of complications. Therefore, tramadol may have a role before prostate biopsy, which needs to be explored.