The Clinical and Pathologic Relevance of a Prostate MRI Diagnosis of "Prostatitis"

Urology. 2021 Aug;154:233-236. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2021.01.039. Epub 2021 Feb 1.


Objective: To investigate the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging evidence of prostatitis with clinical symptomatology. Non-malignant abnormalities in peripheral zone are common in prostate multiparametric prostate magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI). These findings are sometimes reported as "prostatitis" or "inflammation" and lead to patient anxiety and urologic referral.

Methods: Retrospective review of patients undergoing prostate mpMRI (2016-2017) was performed. Two cohort groups based on the presence of "prostatitis" or "inflammation" in the radiology report were identified. Clinical characteristics included age, prostate specific antigen, biopsy/intervention history, true lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), pain, use of urologic medications, prostate volume, and PIRADS score. Pathologic finding of inflammation was recorded. Groups were compared using chi-square for dichotomous variables and t-tests for continuous variables.

Results: One hundred and four patients were identified with "prostatitis/inflammation" and 273 without. Report of LUTS was high in both groups (58% and 62% for prostatitis and no prostatitis respectively, P= .49), though report of moderate/severe LUTS (physician description or IPSS of 8-19 and 20+) was more common in the no prostatitis group (7% vs 18%, P= .008). Use of urologic medication was similar between the 2 groups (31% and 37% for prostatitis and no prostatitis respectively, P = .23). Biopsy finding of inflammation was more common in the prostatitis group (57% vs 43% P = .027). Reports of pelvic pain, dysuria, or urinary findings of inflammation were uncommon in both groups.

Conclusion: While mpMRI findings of prostatitis may indicate NIH Category IV prostatitis, there is no evidence of correlation with categories I, II or III prostatitis nor with symptomatic LUTS, and patients should be reassured that further investigation is not warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Prostatitis / diagnosis
  • Prostatitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatitis / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies