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Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome - diagnosis


There are no definitive diagnostic tests for CP/CPPS. This is a poorly understood disorder, even though it accounts for 90%-95% of prostatitis diagnoses. It is found in men of any age, with the peak onset in the early 30s. CP/CPPS may be inflammatory (Category IIIa) or non-inflammatory (Category IIIb), based on levels of pus cells in expressed prostatic secretions (EPS), but these subcategories are of limited use clinically. In the inflammatory form, urine, semen, and other fluids from the prostate contain pus cells (dead white blood cells or WBCs), whereas in the non-inflammatory form no pus cells are present. Recent studies have questioned the distinction between categories IIIa and IIIb, since both categories show evidence of inflammation if pus cells are ignored and other more subtle signs of inflammation, like cytokines, are measured. In 2006, Chinese researchers found that men with categories IIIa and IIIb both had significantly and similarly raised levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF?1 and pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN-? in their EPS when compared with controls; therefore measurement of these cytokines could be used to diagnose category III prostatitis.

For CP/CPPS patients, analysis of urine and expressed prostatic secretions for leukocytes is debatable, especially due to the fact that the differentiation between patients with inflammatory and non-inflammatory subgroups of CP/CPPS is not useful. Serum PSA tests, routine imaging of the prostate, and tests for Chlamydia trachomatis and Ureaplasma provide no benefit for the patient.

Extraprostatic abdominal/pelvic tenderness is present in >50% of patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome but only 7% of controls.

Normal men have slightly more bacteria in their semen than men with CPPS. The traditional Stamey 4-glass test is invalid for diagnosis of this disorder, and inflammation cannot be localized to any particular area of the lower GU tract. Men with CP/CPPS are more likely than the general population to suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Experimental tests that could be useful in the future include tests to measure semen and prostate fluid cytokine levels. Various studies have shown increases in markers for inflammation such as elevated levels of cytokines, myeloperoxidase, and chemokines.

Bladder neck hypertrophy and urethral stricture may both cause similar symptoms through urinary reflux (inter alia), and can be excluded through flexible cytoscopy and urodynamic tests.


Other articles from the section: Prostatitis

Acute prostatitis - signs and symptoms

  Men with this disease often have chills, fever, pain in the lower back and genital area, urinary frequency and urgency often at night, burning or painful urination, body aches, and a demonstrable infection of the urinary tract, as evidenced by white blood cells and bacteria in the urine. Acute prostatitis may be a complication of prostate biopsy.    

Section: Prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome - nomenclature

  The name of this disorder is evolving. In 2007, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) began using the umbrella term Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes (UCPPS), for research purposes, to refer to pain syndromes associated with the bladder (i.e. interstitial ...

Section: Prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome - signs and symptoms

  These patients have no history of genitourinary pain complaints, but leukocytosis is noted, usually during evaluation for other conditions.    

Section: Prostatitis

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