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J Urol. 2005 Mar;173(3):841-3; discussion 843.

Efficacy of prednisone for severe refractory ulcerative interstitial cystitis.

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  • 1CHUQ-L'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Québec, Canada.



We know that bladder inflammation has been noted in some patients with interstitial cystitis (IC). Studies with corticotherapy were performed about 50 years ago. Since that time few studies have been done with corticotherapy. We evaluated the efficacy of prednisone in patients with chronic severe IC with Hunner's ulcers unresponsive to first line therapies.


A prospective study was performed on 14 patients with evidence of ulcerative IC between 1998 and 2003. The patients received 25 mg of prednisone daily for 1 to 2 months and the dose was then tapered to the minimum required for relief of symptoms. Efficacy was evaluated with the O'Leary symptom and problem index and a 6-point pain scale.


Of the 14 patients 9 (64%) were still using prednisone at the end of the study with an average followup of 16 months. In these 9 patients a 38% reduction (p <0.005) in the total score of the O'Leary index was observed. Pain was decreased by 88% (p = 0.0001). There were 5 patients who dropped out of the study due to lack of improvement or side effects. Overall results for the whole cohort included a reduction of 22% (p <0.02) of the total score of O'Leary index and a 69% improvement in pain control (p <0.001).


These results suggest that a trial of prednisone should be considered in patients with severe ulcerative IC otherwise unresponsive to conventional treatment. Improvement in pain control was particularly impressive in this group of patients.

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