Men with chronic prostatitis may be getting the wrong treatment because the condition is difficult to diagnose.

New research suggests that the symptoms of chronic bacterial and non bacterial prostatitis can easily be confused with other conditions, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement) and pelvic pain syndrome.

The successful treatment of these conditions depends, at least in part, on an accurate diagnosis. Yet, when a group of researchers reviewed the literature for data on how to diagnose and treat this condition, they found only small studies of poor quality.

No reference standard for clinical testing was found nor was there any clear indication of what symptoms to base a diagnosis on, although depression and certain inflammatory and immunological markers are more common in men with prostate pain.

The researchers warned against throwing medicines at men with prostate pain, but could offer no clear guidelines for diagnosis or treatment. This dearth of information indicates that many men with prostate problems may currently be receiving inappropriate, ineffective or inadequate treatment (Ann Intern Med, 2000; 133: 367-81).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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