The usual infecting organisms are aerobic gram-negative bacilli or, less frequently, Staphylococcus aureus.
Common symptoms include
Perineal pain, evidence of acute epididymitis, hematuria, and a purulent urethral discharge are less common. Fever is sometimes present.
Rectal examination may disclose prostate tenderness and fluctuance, but prostate enlargement is often the only abnormality, and sometimes the gland feels normal.
Abscess is suspected in patients with persistent perineal pain and continued or recurrent urinary tract infections despite antimicrobial therapy. Such patients should undergo prostate ultrasonography and possibly cystoscopy.
Many abscesses, however, are discovered unexpectedly during prostate surgery or endoscopy; bulging of a lateral lobe into the prostatic urethra or rupture during instrumentation reveals the abscess. Although pyuria and bacteriuria are common, urine may be normal. Blood cultures are positive in some patients.