Interstitial cystitis

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 06 Nov 2022

Interstitial cystitis, also known as bladder pain syndrome, refers to an inflammatory condition affecting the bladder. It is usually defined as urinary bladder pain and irritative symptoms of more than six months duration. It usually represents a diagnosis of exclusion. Traditionally, it has been defined as a chronic sterile inflammatory disease of the bladder of unknown etiology 3.

It tends to commonly occur in young to middle-aged women 1. The RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology (RICE) study in 2011 surveyed women in approximately 150,000 United States households and concluded that up to 6.5% have symptoms of interstitial cystitis 4.

Its exact etiology is uncertain. Proposed theories of pathogenesis are wide and include chronic/subclinical infection, autoimmune phenomena, neurogenic inflammation, or bladder urothelial defects.

  • DWI: may show diffuse restriction in bladder wall 7

For clinical presenantation consider

  • cystitis: any form of inflammation involving the bladder

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