Acute Bacterial Prostatitis in Nursing Practice

The most common cause of acute bacterial prostatitis is the infection (e.g., Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc.) that affects the urinary system and leads to intraprostatic urinary reflux. Bacteria may penetrate the body during sexual intercourse. Moreover, the history of transferred sexually transmitted infections increases the likelihood of acute inflammation in the prostate. Hematogenous and lymphogenic pathways of infection are also possible but less common. It is worth considering that physiological factors, i.e., the anatomical structure of the prostate gland, facilitate urine reflux and contribute to the development of infections in the peripheral area (Deem, 2016).

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Nurses can play a critical role in the diagnosis of acute bacterial prostatitis as it usually has distinctive symptoms, which are easy to differentiate during the initial patient assessment. For instance, multiple inflammatory cells (neutrophils, macrophages, lymphocytes) in the glandular epithelium, the lumen of the glandular ducts, and tissues around the prostate can be observed (Coker & Dierfeldt, 2016). The common signs also include increased body temperature and fever developing as a response to bacterial toxins and other inflammatory cell products. Patients may report discomfort, pain, and burning sensations in the lower abdomen, lower back, or scrotum; frequent urination, erection disorders, etc. During transrectal palpation, the prostate gland is enlarged, tense, sharply painful. In some cases, patients may develop acute retention of urine as well (Coker & Dierfeldt, 2016).

The understanding of the disease’s pathophysiology and symptoms can help nurses make accurate diagnoses. Moreover, based on the assessment data, they will be able to provide their patients with appropriate education and treatment. In this way, a nurse can contribute to the faster recovery of a patient.


Coker T.J, & Dierfeldt D.M. (2016). Acute bacterial prostatitis: Diagnosis and management. American Family Physician, 93(2), 114-120.

Deem, S. G. (2016). Acute bacterial prostatitis. MedScape. Web.

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