Prostatitis differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Maliha Shakil, M.D. [2], Usama Talib, BSc, MD [3]


Diseases Symptoms Signs Diagnosis Comments
Abdominal pain Bowel habits Rebound tenderness Guarding Genitourinary signs Lab findings Imaging
GI diseases Colorectal cancer LLQ Constipation - - - CT scan, x-ray and MRI used to show metastasis
Inflammatory bowel disease LLQ Bloody diarrhea - - -
  • Leukocytosis
Colonoscopy and tissue sampling are recommended for differentiating between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Diverticulitis LLQ Constipation



- + + CT scan shows evidence of inflammation
Appendicitis LLQ / RRQ Constipation + + - Ultrasound shows evidence of inflammation Nausea & vomiting,decreased appetite
Strangulated hernia LLQ - - - -
  • No specific tests
  • CT scan used to detect the hernia and to show if it is single or multiple
Gentiourinary diseases Cystitis LLQ - + -
  • Suprapubic tenderness
  • X ray is done to probe the suspicion of emphysematous cystitis.
  • CT scan shows gas in the bladder in cases of emphysematous cystitis.
Prostatitis LLQ

Groin pain

- - -
  • Tender and enlarged
Pelvic inflammatory disease Bilateral - + -
  • Purulent vaginal discharge
Transvaginal utrasonography
Gynecological diseases Endometritis LLQ - + - +
  • No specific tests
  • Ultrasound is helpful to rule out other differential diagnosis such as pelvic abscess, thrombosis and masses
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding
Salpingitis LLQ/ RLQ +/- +/-
  • Leukocytosis
Pelvic ultrasound
  • Vaginal discharge

Differentiating Prostatitis from other Diseases

Prostatitis must be differentiated from:[7]

Differential Diagnosis on the basis of Urinary Symptoms

Prostatitis can be differentiated from other diseases that cause lower urinary tract irritation symptoms, such as: dysuria, urgency and frequency in addition to urethral discharge , the differential list include: urethritis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, cervicitis, vulvovaginitis, epididimitis and syphilis.[8][9][10][11]

Disease Findings
Cystitis Bladder inflammation, features with increased frequency and urgency, dysuria, and suprapubic pain. Is more common among women. E.coli is the most common pathogen[12][13][14][15].
Urethritis Infection of the urethra,causes dysuria and urethral discharge[10][16][17]
Prostatitis Bacterial infection of the prostate,causes discomfort during ejaculation[18]
Epididymitis Presents with scrotal pain and swelling accompanied by fever and lower urinary tract irritation symptoms(dysuria and frequency)[19].
Syphilis Presents with generalized systemic symptoms such as malaise, fatigue, headache and fever. Skin eruptions may be subtle and asymptomatic. It is classically described as 1) non-pruritic bilateral symmetrical mucocutaneous rash; 2) non-tender regional lymphadenopathy; 3) condylomata lata; and 4) patchy alopecia.[9]


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  10. 10.0 10.1 Taylor-Robinson D (1996). "The history of nongonococcal urethritis. Thomas Parran Award Lecture". Sex Transm Dis. 23 (1): 86–91. PMID 8801649.
  11. Bennett, John (2015). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's principles and practice of infectious diseases. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders. ISBN 9781455748013.
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  13. W. E. Stamm (1981). "Etiology and management of the acute urethral syndrome". Sexually transmitted diseases. 8 (3): 235–238. PMID 7292216. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  14. W. E. Stamm, K. F. Wagner, R. Amsel, E. R. Alexander, M. Turck, G. W. Counts & K. K. Holmes (1980). "Causes of the acute urethral syndrome in women". The New England journal of medicine. 303 (8): 409–415. doi:10.1056/NEJM198008213030801. PMID 6993946. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  15. Leonie G. M. Giesen, Grainne Cousins, Borislav D. Dimitrov, Floris A. van de Laar & Tom Fahey (2010). "Predicting acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women: a systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs". BMC family practice. 11: 78. doi:10.1186/1471-2296-11-78. PMID 20969801.
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  18. Felix Millan-Rodriguez, J. Palou, Anna Bujons-Tur, Mireia Musquera-Felip, Carlota Sevilla-Cecilia, Marc Serrallach-Orejas, Carlos Baez-Angles & Humberto Villavicencio-Mavrich (2006). "Acute bacterial prostatitis: two different sub-categories according to a previous manipulation of the lower urinary tract". World journal of urology. 24 (1): 45–50. doi:10.1007/s00345-005-0040-4. PMID 16437219. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  19. A. Stewart, S. S. Ubee & H. Davies (2011). "Epididymo-orchitis". BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 342: d1543. PMID 21490048.