JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Influence of infection on the distribution patterns of NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index scores in patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a complex condition for which the etiological determinants are still poorly defined. To better characterize the diagnostic and therapeutic profile of patients, an algorithm known as UPOINT was created, addressing six major phenotypic domains of CP/CPPS, specifically the urinary (U), psycho-social (P), organ-specific (O), infection (I), neurological/systemic (N) and muscular tenderness (T) domains. An additional sexual dysfunction domain may be included in the UPOINT(S) system. The impact of the infection domain on the severity of CP/CPPS symptoms is a controversial issue, due to the contradictory results of different trials. The aim of the present retrospective study was to further analyze the extent to which a positive infection domain of UPOINTS may modify the pattern of CP/CPPS symptom scores, assessed with the National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI). In a cohort of 935 patients that was divided on the basis of the presence or absence of prostatic infection, more severe clinical symptoms were shown by the patients with infection (median NIH total score: 24 versus 20 points in uninfected patients; P<0.001). Moreover, NIH-CPSI score distribution curves were shifted towards more severe symptoms in patients with a positive infection domain. Division of the patients into the six most prominent phenotypic clusters of UPOINTS revealed that the 'prostate infection-related sexual dysfunction' cluster, including the highest proportion of patients with evidence of infection (80%), scored the highest number of NIH-CPSI points among all the clusters. To assess the influence of the infection domain on the severity of patients' symptoms, all subjects with evidence of infection were withdrawn from the 'prostate infection-related sexual dysfunction' cluster. This modified cluster showed symptom scores significantly less severe than the original cluster, and the CPSI values became comparable to the scores of the five other clusters, which were virtually devoid of patients with evidence of infection. These results suggest that the presence of pathogens in the prostate gland may significantly affect the clinical presentation of patients affected by CP/CPPS, and that the infection domain may be a determinant of the severity of CP/CPPS symptoms in clusters of patients phenotyped with the UPOINTS system. This evidence may convey considerable therapeutic implications.

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