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1999 Selected Abstracts from American Urological Association annual meeting
Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Prostatitis: Do Urologists Use the Four-Glass Test?
M McNaughton-Collins; MJ Barry; FJ Fowler Jr.; DB Elliott; Boston, MA; PC Albertsen; Farmington, CT (Presented by Dr. McNaughton-Collins).
Introduction and Objectives:
To examine the diagnosis and treatment of chronic prostatitis in 1998 we conducted a national survey of urologists who were practicing medicine at least 20 hrs/wk.
Methods:
Stratified random samples were drawn from the American Medical Association Registry of Physicians.
Results:
504 urologists responded (response rate = 64%). Urologists reported seeing a mean of 50.6 (SE=2.9) patients newly diagnosed with chronic prostatitis in the past 12 months.

In the past 12 months , when evaluating a patient with prostatitis, how often did you perform the Meares-Stamey four-glass test?
Almost AlwaysMore than half the timeAbout half the timeLess than half the timeRarelyNever
4%3%4%9%33%47%

How many of your chronic prostatitis patients did you treat with:
AllMore than halfAbout halfLess than halfVery fewNone
Antibiotics40%42%9%4%4%1%
Alpha Blockers2%21%19%32%19%7%
Natural remedies1%4%6%14%34%41%

Physician who often performed the 4-glass test did not differ in their antibiotic use from those who used it less often; however, they were more likely to use treatments other than antibiotics. Alpha blockers were used in half the patients or more by only 35% of physicians who never do the 4-glass test, compared with 42% who rarely do the test and 57% who do the test more often (P=0.002). Results were similar for treatment with natural remedies.
Conclusions:
Urologists are making the diagnosis of chronic prostatitis frequently, but are rarely doing the time-honored 4-glass test. Although bacterial prostatitis is reportedly uncommon, antibiotic use is not.
Source: 1999 AUA Meeting

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