Prostatitis and urinary tract infection in men: what's new; what's true?

Am J Med. 1999 Mar;106(3):327-34. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(99)00017-0.


Urinary tract and prostatic infections are common in men, and most are treated by primary providers. Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by uropathogens, presents with a tender prostate gland, and responds promptly to antibiotic therapy. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a subacute infection, may present with a variety of pelvic pain and voiding symptoms, and is characterized by recurrent urinary tract infections. Effective treatment may be difficult and requires prolonged antibiotic therapy. Nonbacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome are more common than bacterial prostatitis, and their etiologies are largely unknown. Treatment for both nonbacterial disorders is primarily symptomatic. An underlying anatomic or functional condition usually complicates urinary tract infections in men, but uncomplicated infections occur, often related to sexual activity. Gram-negative bacilli cause most urinary tract and prostate infections. Therapy for prostatic infections requires an agent that penetrates prostatic tissue and secretions, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or, preferably, a fluoroquinolone. Duration of antibiotic therapy is typically 1 to 2 weeks for cystitis, 4 weeks for acute bacterial prostatitis, and 6 to 12 weeks for chronic bacterial prostatitis. Long-term suppressive antibiotic therapy and nonspecific measures aimed at palliation may be useful in selected patients with recurrent bacteriuria or persistent symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Cystitis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Prostatitis* / complications
  • Prostatitis* / diagnosis
  • Prostatitis* / microbiology
  • Prostatitis* / therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / diagnosis
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / microbiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / therapy