Ethanol-glycine irrigating fluid for transurethral resection of the prostate in practice

A. A. Okeke, R. Lodge, A. Hinchliffe*, A. Walker, D. Dickerson, D. A. Gillatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To evaluate the usefulness of a tracer of 1% ethanol in 1.5% glycine in the early detection of irrigation fluid absorption during transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Patients and methods. Patients (120) undergoing TURP were irrigated with 1% ethanol in 1.5% glycine solution and their expired air tested for alcohol every 10 min during the procedure. Results. In all, 112 patients were assessed; over half of the patients absorbed the irrigation fluid and they had a significantly lower postoperative serum sodium concentration (P < 0.002). Fourteen patients (12.5%) absorbed over 500 mL and two (1.8%) developed clinical features of the TUR syndrome. The experience of the surgeon, the weight of resected chips and the operative duration were not significantly predictive of absorption. Conclusion. A tracer amount of ethanol in the irrigant is reliable for detecting absorption. Irrigating fluid absorption was unpredictable, thus supporting the case for routine monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-46
Number of pages4
JournalBJU international
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethanol-glycine
  • Irrigant absorption
  • Monitoring
  • TUR syndrome


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