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Article
February 18, 1956

CHRONIC PROSTATITIS—FACT OR FICTION?

JAMA. 1956;160(7):540-542. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960420020005
Abstract

• Prostatic fluid was obtained from 311 healthy men undergoing routine physical examinations. In 30% of this group, the fluid was found to contain more than 50 white blood cells in clumps or packed masses per high-power field. Similar specimens from 155 men said to have "nonspecific urethritis" showed similar quantities of white blood cells in 41 (27%) cases.

These results were compared with the findings in 449 men with genitourinary complaints diagnosed as prostatitis because of the presence of white blood cells in the prostatic fluid. This group was found not to differ significantly from the two former groups. When prostatic massage was repeated at weekly intervals the findings were frequently reversed, so that negative became positive and positive became negative. These changes were not reflected in the symptoms reported by the patient.

In 68 cases prostatic fluid was obtained endoscopically for bacteriological culture. Out of the 29 cases in which pus was found, the cultures were positive only three times, and only one case yielded a known pathogen. The finding of white blood cells in prostatic fluid is therefore not sufficient either to settle the diagnosis of prostatitis or to explain miscellaneous urinary and reproductive difficulties.

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