Published online Mar 9, 2015. doi: 10.5497/wjp.v4.i1.1
Peer-review started: July 10, 2014
First decision: September 16, 2014
Revised: October 22, 2014
Accepted: December 16, 2014
Article in press: December 17, 2014
Published online: March 9, 2015
Prostatitis comprises of a group of syndromes that affect almost 50% of men at least once in their lifetime and makeup the majority of visits to the Urology Clinics. After much debate, it has been divided into four distinct categories by National Institutes of Health namely (1) acute bacterial prostatitis; (2) chronic bacterial prostatitis; (3) chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) which is further divided into inflammatory and non-inflammatory CP/CPPS; and (4) asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. CP/CPPS has been a cause of great concern for both patients and physicians because of the lack of presence of thorough information about the etiological factors along with the difficult-to-treat nature of the syndrome. For the presented manuscript an extensive search on PubMed was conducted for CP/CPPS aimed to present an updated review on the evaluation and treatment options available for patients with CP/CPPS. Several diagnostic criteria’s have been established to diagnose CP/CPPS, with prostatic/pelvic pain for at least 3 mo being the major classifying symptom along with the presence of lower urinary tract symptoms and/or ejaculatory pain. Diagnostic tests can help differentiate CP/CPPS from other syndromes that come under the heading of prostatitis by ruling out active urinary tract infection and/or prostatic infection with uropathogen by performing urine cultures, Meares-Stamey Four Glass Test, Pre- and Post-Massage Two Glass Test. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is confirmed through prostate biopsy done for elevated serum prostate-specific antigen levels or abnormal digital rectal examination. Researchers have been unable to link a single etiological factor to the pathogenesis of CP/CPPS, instead a cluster of potential etiologies including atypical bacterial or nanobacterial infection, autoimmunity, neurological dysfunction and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction are most commonly implicated. Initially monotherapy with anti-biotics and alpha adrenergic-blockers can be tried, but its success has only been observed in treatment naïve population. Other pharmacotherapies including phytotherapy, neuromodulatory drugs and anti-inflammatories achieved limited success in trials. Complementary and interventional therapies including acupuncture, myofascial trigger point release and pelvic floor biofeedback have been employed. This review points towards the fact that treatment should be tailored individually for patients based on their symptoms. Patients can be stratified phenotypically based on the UPOINT system constituting of Urinary, Psychosocial, Organ-specific, Infectious, Neurologic/Systemic and symptoms of muscular Tenderness and the treatment algorithm should be proposed accordingly. Treatment of CP/CPPS should be aimed towards treating local as well as central factors causing the symptoms. Surgical intervention can cause significant morbidity and should only be reserved for treatment-refractory patients that have previously failed to respond to multiple drug therapies.
Core tip: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is difficult-to-treat because of the multitude of potential etiologies that are not easily observed and delayed diagnosis. Pharmacological monotherapy with antibiotics, alpha-blockers and anti-inflammatories provide significant symptomatic improvement in a limited number of patients. Multidrug therapies are recommended for monotherapy refractory patients. Complementary and interventional therapies such as acupuncture, myofascial trigger point release and pelvic floor biofeedback can provide additional symptomatic relief. Current recommendations involve a treatment algorithm based on UPOINT phenotypic presentation for CP/CPPS patients. Keeping in mind the high prevalence of CP/CPPS, development of novel therapies and an effective vaccine for prevention of CP/CPPS is crucial.