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International Prostate Symptom Score
The International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) is an 8 question (7 symptom questions + 1 quality of life question) written screening tool used to screen for, rapidly diagnose, track the symptoms of, and suggest management of the symptoms of the disease Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Created in 1992 by the American Urological Association, it originally lacked the 8th QOL question, hence its original name: the American Urological Association symptom score (AUA-7).
The IPSS was designed to be self-administered by the patient, with speed and ease in mind. Hence, it can be used in both urology clinics as well as the clinics of primary care physicians (i.e. by general practitioners) for the diagnosis of BPH. Additionally, the IPSS can be performed multiple times to compare the progression of symptoms and their severity over months and years.
In addition to diagnosis and charting disease progression, the IPSS is effective in helping to determine treatment for patients. Patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) either 1) may need no treatment, just observation, because many patients stay the same or even improve over the years, or 2) many need only medical treatment, a) either only with an alpha-1-adrenergic antagonist, e.g. tamsulosin, or b) with an alpha-1-adrenergic antagonist plus finasteride, depending on the severity of their symptoms, or 3) may need surgical intervention.    
BPH patients are treated with surgery if a) BPH becomes a risk factor for upper urinary tract damage (i.e. damage to the ureters and kidneys, which may include severe damage such as pyelonephritis, hydronephrosis, and renal failure), or b) if the symptoms of BPH on the lower urinary tract become serious (i.e. 1) recurrent infections, or 2) bladder decompensation, i.e. urinary retention >25% immediately after voiding the bladder). In all non-emergency cases, not only the severity of BPH symptoms, but also the subjective quality-of-life of the patient and the wishes of the patient are taken into account before deciding on surgery.
The IPSS is available free-of-charge on the Internet. See: http://www.gp-training.net/protocol/docs/ipss.doc Or see: http://www.usrf.org/questionnaires/AUA_SymptomScore.html
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "International_Prostate_Symptom_Score". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|