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Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in men

Thomas M Hooton, MD
Section Editor
Stephen B Calderwood, MD
Deputy Editor
Allyson Bloom, MD


Acute cystitis refers to infection of the bladder (lower urinary tract); it can occur alone or in conjunction with pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney – the upper urinary tract). Acute cystitis and pyelonephritis in men will be reviewed here. Issues related to prostatitis are discussed separately. (See "Acute bacterial prostatitis" and "Chronic bacterial prostatitis".)

Acute cystitis and pyelonephritis in women and asymptomatic bacteriuria are discussed separately. (See "Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women" and "Acute complicated cystitis and pyelonephritis" and "Urinary tract infections and asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy" and "Approach to the adult with asymptomatic bacteriuria".)


Symptomatic urinary tract infection is much less common in men than in women. This is due to longer urethral length, drier periurethral environment (with less frequent colonization around the urethra), and antibacterial substances in prostatic fluid.

It has been conventional to consider all UTIs in men as complicated, since the majority occur in infants or the elderly in association with urologic abnormalities, such as bladder outlet obstruction (eg, due to prostatic hyperplasia) or instrumentation (table 1). However, acute uncomplicated UTIs occur in a small number of men between 15 and 50 years of age. Risk factors associated with these infections include insertive anal intercourse and lack of circumcision [1].


Cystitis is an infection of the bladder (lower urinary tract), which can occur alone or in conjunction with pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney - upper urinary tract) or prostatitis. The incidence of symptomatic UTI in young healthy adult men is much lower than that in women; approximately five to eight UTIs occur per year per 10,000 young to middle-aged men [2,3].


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jan 5, 2016.
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