Prostatitis (less commonly prostatosis) is inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis is classified into acute, chronic, asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
In the United States, prostatitis is diagnosed in 8 percent of all urologist visits and 1 percent of all primary care physician visits.
The term prostatitis refers, in its strictest sense, to histological (microscopic) inflammation of the tissue of the prostate gland. Like all forms of inflammation, it can be associated with an appropriate response of the body to an infection, but it also occurs in the absence of infection.
In 1999, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) devised a new classification system. For more specifics about each type of prostatitis, including information on symptoms, treatment, and prognosis, follow the links to the relevant full articles.
In 1968, Meares and Stamey determined a classification technique based upon the culturing of bacteria. This classification is no longer used.
The conditions are distinguished by the different presentation of pain, white blood cells (WBCs) in the urine, duration of symptoms and bacteria cultured from the urine. To help express prostatic secretions that may contain WBCs and bacteria, prostate massage is sometimes used.
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