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Urology. 2008 Jun;71(6):1010-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.12.082. Epub 2008 May 2.

Prevalence of asymptomatic inflammatory (National Institutes of Health Category IV) prostatitis in young men according to semen analysis.

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Andrology Center, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia.



To determine the prevalence of asymptomatic inflammatory (National Institutes of Health category IV) prostatitis in a cross-sectional community sample of young men.


The study group consisted of 565 men aged 18.9 +/- 1.8 years (mean +/- standard deviation). Cytologic examination of all ejaculates (using Bryan-Leishman stained slides), as well as analysis for basic semen parameters (volume, concentration, and motility) and clinical examination for possible pathologies in the genital region, were performed. Subjects with any clinical symptoms of inflammation were excluded. Levels of prostate-specific antigen in blood serum and interleukin-6 in seminal plasma were determined as well.


The prevalence of asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis (greater than 1 x 10(6) white blood cells [WBC]/mL in semen, according to World Health Organization guidelines) was 6.0%, but when we used a lower threshold suggested by our previous studies (greater than 0.2 x 10(6) WBC/mL), the prevalence was 19.0%. In this study the analysis did not show any significant effect of leukocytospermia on sperm quality, except higher sperm concentration in subjects with moderate leukocytospermia (0.2-1 x 10(6) WBC/mL). We did not detect any seasonal differences in the prevalence of asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Interleukin-6 and prostate-specific antigen levels were significantly higher in leukocytospermic subjects than in those without leukocytospermia.


Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis has a notable prevalence among healthy young men, suggesting the need for further studies to investigate pathogenetic mechanisms of the disease. Lack of negative effect of leukocytospermia on basic semen parameters may indicate higher functional reserve of accessory sex glands in this age group.

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