Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a common disorder that is associated with urinary tract symptoms. Nitric oxide (NO), synthesized by NO synthase (NOS) is a potent vasodilator that is present throughout the urinary tract and the corpus cavernosum. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) conversely is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide that is similarly distributed throughout the urinary tract. ET-1 and NO as well as possessing opposing actions regulate each others synthesis. The disruption of the balance between ET-1 and NO is associated with various vascular pathologies. However, their potential roles in the pathogenesis of urinary tract disorders, secondary to BOO, is not well established. New Zealand White rabbits with BOO are considered to be a suitable model of the human condition. Hence, using this model, we systematically investigated the potential roles of ET-1 and NO in the pathogenesis of the various urological disorders associated with BOO. In this review we discuss the results of our studies, which support the concept that an imbalance between ET-1 and NO may be associated with the pathogenesis of urinary tract disorders secondary to BOO. We also discuss the potential clinical implications of this association. This review is based on the Bard Silver Medal Lecture given (by MAK) at the 2002 British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) annual meeting.