Chronic prostatitis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: is there a correlation?

Antonio Mancini, Carmine Bruno, Edoardo Vergani, Giulio Olivieri, Grazia Angela Morandotti, Domenico Nagel, Gianluca Quaranta, Maria Certo, Luca Masucci


Background: Clinical management of chronic inflammation of prostate and seminal vesicles is very complex. Among the causes of recurrent chronic prostatitis (CP), a possible malabsorption, such as lactose intolerance, in turn related to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), should be considered.
Methods: We have performed lactose and lactulose breath test (BT) in 42 patients with CP, in order to evaluate the prevalence of SIBO in this kind of patients and the concordance of the two tests.
Results: A positive lactulose BT was present in 33/42 patients and in 73% (24/33) was associated to lactose malabsorption. Five patients had positive response after lactulose, while only 4 had both negative tests.
Conclusions: Our data showed an association between lactose and lactulose BT positivity. They also indicated high prevalence of bacterial colonization of small bowel in patients with CP, possibly related to recurrence or chronicity of genitourinary tract inflammation. The research for these phenomena could be relevant in diagnostic route of infertile patients in whom slight gastro-enteric symptoms can be underestimated.