Prostatic abscess: A systematic review of current diagnostic methods, treatment modalities and outcomes

Hasan Khudhur, Oliver Brunckhorst, Gordon Muir, Rozh Jalil, Azhar Khan, Kamran Ahmed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Prostatic abscesses (PAs) are an uncommon urologic presentation with widely varying approaches in their diagnoses and management. This study, therefore, aims to systematically review the literature of PAs to identify common clinical presentations, evaluate currently utilized diagnostic and treatment modalities, and assess their outcomes. Material and methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed using the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases, from January 1968 to June 2019. Outcome measures extracted from identified articles included age, the underlying disease, identified pathogens, diagnostic tool utilized, treatment used, and various subsequent clinical outcomes. Results: The literature search yielded 683 articles, with a final twelve included in the review, representing a total of 210 patients. Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) was the most commonly used imaging tool used to identify PAs in all twelve studies. The PAs were treated with conservative antibiotic treatment in seven studies. Transurethral resection of the prostatic abscess (TURP) was utilized in eight studies with an average abscess size of 3.87 cm (3.0-4.0 cm) and with an average hospital stay of 10.22 days in those undergoing TURP. Transperineal aspiration was seen in five studies and offered a less invasive treatment modality. Finally, TRUS-guided needle aspiration was seen in seven studies with an average hospital stay of 23.25 days. This was the longest of any identified modalities with an additional high rate of abscess recurrence. Conclusion: Diagnosis and treatment practices of PAs remain widely varied in the literature due to a lack of clear guidelines. Based on the current evidence, we provide recommendations of treatment based on abscess size, patient age, and clinical condition. While smaller abscesses may be suited to antibiotic or TRUS-guided aspiration, transurethral approaches should be considered for larger and more complex abscesses. However, the current evidence remains poor with further research required to determine the optimum treatment modalities for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-273
Number of pages12
JournalTurkish Journal of Urology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Abscess
  • Drainage
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic diseases


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