Purpose: We examined the anatomical relationship of chronic prostatitis with prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) based on the hypothesis that there may be an association of prostatitis with these other entities that may involve up-regulation of bcl-2. Materials and Methods: We examined 40 whole mount radical prostatectomy specimens for the presence and distribution of chronic inflammatory infiltrate. Immunostaining for bcl-2 was done in 10 cases. Results: Chronic prostatitis was identified in all 40 cases with peripheral zone inflammation in 95% and transition zone inflammation in 87.5%. In all cases of transition zone inflammation the infiltrate was noted within and/or around BPH. Inflammatory infiltrate was microscopically associated with prostate cancer in 23 of the 40 cases (57.5%). In these 23 cases, there was no association of inflammation with Gleason score, preoperative prostate specific antigen, positive margins, or seminal vesicle invasion. Patients with BPH unassociated with prostatitis had significantly smaller prostate weight (median 32 gm.) and were younger (mean age 54.4 years) than those with BPH associated with prostatitis (median weight 40 gm. and mean age 61.4 years, p <0.05). Bcl-2 staining was intensified in benign glands within areas of prostatitis in all 10 cases examined. Conclusions: Chronic prostatitis is a common finding in radical prostatectomy specimens. Inflammation was associated with BPH and cancer but had a greater tendency to be associated with BPH. Bcl-2 was prominently expressed in areas of prostatitis. Our findings indirectly support a potential role for prostatitis in the pathogenesis of BPH.
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