Neuromuscular dysfunction in nonbacterial prostatitis

Urology. 1987 Aug;30(2):183-8. doi: 10.1016/0090-4295(87)90193-2.


Although chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is common, the condition remains poorly understood and refractory to treatment. Another approach, i.e., a urodynamic explanation, seems warranted. The underlying cause of the symptoms may be an inappropriate spasm of of the distal urethra/external sphincteric unit, leading to increased pressure in the prostatic urethra with a resultant reflux of urine into the prostatic ducts. The presence of urine (sterile or infected) could induce ductal and periductal inflammation, which could further aggravate spasm of the involved pelvic musculature, exacerbating the voiding dysfunction. We present 3 patients in whom this sequence of events was documented radiographically and urodynamically. Consequently, treatment involved modulation of the dysfunction of the distal urethra/external sphincteric unit: (1) reeducation by reassurance and biofeedback was the initial line of therapy; (2) pharmacologic manipulation using alpha-blockers (to affect smooth and striated muscle irritability) and striated muscle relaxants was next tried; (3) finally, in unremitting symptoms, we used selective sacral-root electro-stimulation, successfully fatiguing the involved muscles and relieving the voiding dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dilatation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatitis / complications*
  • Prostatitis / physiopathology
  • Urethra / physiopathology
  • Urination Disorders / etiology*
  • Urination Disorders / physiopathology
  • Urination Disorders / therapy
  • Urodynamics*