A Subtype Based Analysis of Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome in Men

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Abstract

Purpose:

The current conceptualization of urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome in men recognizes a wide variety of pain, psychosocial, sexual and urological symptoms and markers that may contribute to decreased quality of life. Unfortunately, this syndrome is difficult to clearly define and treat due to heterogeneous symptom profiles. We systematically describe these heterogeneous symptoms and investigated whether they could be subtyped into distinct syndromes.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 171 men diagnosed with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome completed validated questionnaires, a structured genital pain interview, digital pain threshold testing and urological assessment. Pain interview results are systematically presented as descriptive information. We used k-means cluster analysis to define subtypes.

Results:

Seven homogenous, distinct clusters were defined, each with a remarkably different symptom presentation. These clusters were described and related to previous hypotheses of urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome etiology.

Conclusions:

These clusters may represent distinct subtypes of urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome that can be used to guide treatment more effectively. Defining subtypes may also improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

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