Objectives. Recent studies suggest the presence of a hereditary form of benign prostatic hyperplasia (H-BPH). This study was undertaken to characterize the histopathologic features of BPH in these men. Methods. Because study subjects with H-BPH were young (mean age 59 years) and had a large prostate (mean prostate weight 61 g), we compared the histopathologic findings in these men with those in two different control groups: (1) age- matched control subjects (mean age 59 years; mean prostate weight 31 g), and (2) prostate weight-matched control subjects (mean age 70 years; mean prostate weight 61 g). Using a color video image analysis system, we morphometrically determined stromal/epithelial ratios in histologic sections taken from 12 men with H-BPH, 36 age-matched control subjects, and 36 prostate weight-matched control subjects. Results. The stromal/epithelial ratio was 2.6 ± 1.4 in the men with H-BPH, 2.7 ± 1.7 in the age-matched control subjects, and 1.7 ± 0.9 in the prostate weight-matched control subjects. Regression analysis, which controlled for the differences in prostate weight or patient age between men with H-BPH and age-matched and prostate weight-matched control subjects, respectively, revealed a significant difference between men with H-BPH and prostate weight-matched control subjects (P = 0.015) but no difference from age-matched control subjects (P = 0.36). Conclusions. The larger prostates in young men with H- BPH are characterized by a higher stromal/epithelial ratio than are similar- sized prostates in older men with sporadic BPH. This finding gives rise to speculation that H-BPH is associated with an increase in stromal elements.
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