Therapeutic effect of transurethral needle ablation in non-bacterial prostatitis: Chronic pelvic pain syndrome type IIIa


Po Hui Chiang md phd, 106 Chong Cheng 3rd Road, Kaohsiung 800, Taiwan. E-mail:


Aim:  Non-bacterial prostatitis is difficult to manage with conventional treatment. This study was undertaken to evaluate the therapeutic effect of transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) on men with chronic inflammatory non-bacterial prostatitis.

Methods:  Thirty-two patients with non-bacterial prostatitis (type IIIa) were treated with TUNA. The TUNA procedure, which uses radiofrequency energy, heats the prostate tissue to approximately 90–110°C over a 5-min period. Evaluation consisted of a prostatitis symptom severity score chart, the monitoring of the leukocyte count in the expressed prostatic secretion (EPS) and a subjective global assessment.

Results:  The decrease in the prostate symptom severity score chart at 3 and 6 months compared with the baseline assessment was statistically significant. Analysis of the leukocyte levels in the EPS in 14 patients was available. All 14 patients had a decrease in the EPS leukocyte count 3 months after treatment. However, six of these men (43%) still had EPS leukocyte levels above the normal indices (>10 white blood cells per high-power field). A second session of TUNA on these partial responders resulted in three of the six men obtaining a normal EPS leukocyte count. At 6 months following treatment, complete, partial and poor improvement in terms of subjective global assessment were noted in 60, 35 and 5% of patients, respectively. No major complications, including those of sexual dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation, were noted in this cohort.

Conclusions:  Transurethral needle ablation appears to be an easy, safe and effective treatment for men with chronic inflammatory non-bacterial prostatitis.