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Acute bacterial prostatitis


  • Usually a febrile disease with intense symptoms. The prostate gland is typically very tender to palpation.
  • The condition is often preceded by prostate biopsy.


  • Increased urinary frequency, burning sensation in lower abdomen = symptoms of urinary tract infection
  • Voiding difficulties, painful voiding
  • The patient often has fever and feels ill.

Differential diagnosis and investigations

  • Urinary tract infection (pyelonephritis, urosepsis)
    • Always order CRP assay (usually elevated) and urinary bacterial culture.
    • A large amount of leucocytes, mucus and bacteria are usually found in the urine specimen.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhoea)
    • Primarily investigated with nucleic acid testing
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis; see (1)

Clinical and laboratory findings

  • Tenderness in the lower abdomen.
  • Very tender prostate on palpation.


  • Oral fluoroquinolone or sulpha-trimethoprim in normal (UTI) doses is usually sufficient. Of the fluoroquinolones, ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin yield the highest concentrations. The duration of treatment is 4 weeks.
  • If the patient has fever and severe symptoms the initial treatment should consist of intravenous cefuroxime in a hospital for one week, followed by oral medication for 3 weeks.
  • Massage of the prostate is contraindicated.
  • Suprapubic cystostomy may occasionally be necessary to secure the emptying of the bladder. Do not catheterize.

Further investigations

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"Acute Bacterial Prostatitis." Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines, Duodecim Medical Publications Limited, 2019. Evidence Central, evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/450554/all/Acute_bacterial_prostatitis.
Acute bacterial prostatitis. Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Duodecim Medical Publications Limited; 2019. https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/450554/all/Acute_bacterial_prostatitis. Accessed August 21, 2019.
Acute bacterial prostatitis. (2019). In Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Available from https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/450554/all/Acute_bacterial_prostatitis
Acute Bacterial Prostatitis [Internet]. In: Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Duodecim Medical Publications Limited; 2019. [cited 2019 August 21]. Available from: https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/450554/all/Acute_bacterial_prostatitis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Acute bacterial prostatitis ID - 450554 BT - Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines UR - https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/450554/all/Acute_bacterial_prostatitis PB - Duodecim Medical Publications Limited DB - Evidence Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -