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Pseudodyssynergia (contraction of the external sphincter during voiding) misdiagnosed as chronic nonbacterial prostatitis and the role of biofeedback as a therapeutic option.

PURPOSE: Chronic lower urinary tract symptoms in young men are often attributed to misdiagnosed chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. We analyzed contraction of the external urinary sphincter during voiding (pseudodyssynergia) as an etiology of voiding dysfunction in men with misdiagnosed chronic prostatitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The video urodynamic studies of 43 men 23 to 50 years old with chronic voiding dysfunction secondary to pseudodyssynergia performed between January 1990 and June 1996 were retrospectively analyzed. Pseudodyssynergia was diagnosed based on several criteria, including electrical activity of the external sphincter during voiding in the absence of abdominal straining, and brief and intermittent closing of the membranous urethra during voiding detected by electromyography and fluoroscopy. Patients with bacterial infection or excessive leukocytes in expressed prostatic secretions were excluded from the study.

RESULTS: Of the patients 39 (91%) were firstborn men. Duration of symptoms ranged from 17 to 146 months (mean 43.6). Average number of previous antibiotic days ranged from 53 to 186 (mean 67.6). In addition, empirical trials of alpha-blockers were unsuccessful. Mean American Urological Association symptom score plus or minus standard deviation was 17.5 +/- 3.7, mean maximum flow rate was 13.3 +/- 4.2 ml. per second, mean detrusor pressure at maximum flow was 46.3 +/- 13.7 cm. water and mean detrusor contraction duration was 132.8 +/- 27.7 seconds. Behavior modification and biofeedback were successful in decreasing symptoms in 35 patients (83%) at 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that some men who are categorized as having and empirically treated for chronic nonbacterial prostatitis are misdiagnosed and, in fact, have functional bladder outlet obstruction. Urodynamics are helpful in diagnosing and predicting success with behavior modification and biofeedback in these patients.

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