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J Urol. 2004 Mar;171(3):1148-50; discussion 50-1.

Intravesical nitric oxide production discriminates between classic and nonulcer interstitial cystitis.

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1
Department of Urology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Götenborg, Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is one of the most bothersome conditions in urological practice. There are 2 subtypes, classic and nonulcer IC, with similar symptoms but different outcomes with respect to clinical course and response to treatment. Histologically there are fundamental differences between the 2 subtypes, classic IC presenting a severe abnormality of the urothelium and characteristic inflammatory cell infiltrates while inflammation is scant in nonulcer IC. Regulation of urinary nitric oxide synthase activity has been proposed to be of importance for immunological responses in IC. We present evidence of a profound difference between the 2 subtypes concerning nitric oxide production, mirroring the differences in inflammatory response in IC.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 17 patients with both subtypes and active disease as well as patients with disease in remission were included in the study, all diagnosed according to National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases criteria. Luminal nitric oxide was measured in the bladder of patients using a chemiluminescence nitric oxide analyzer.

RESULTS:

All patients with classic IC had high levels of NO. None of the other patients had any significant increase in NO levels in the bladder. The NO level in patients with classic IC was not related to symptoms but rather to the assignment to this specific subgroup of IC. The highest levels of NO were found in patients in the initial phase of classic IC.

CONCLUSIONS:

The difference in NO evaporation between classic and nonulcer IC allows for subtyping of cases meeting National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases criteria without performing cystoscopy. The findings in the present series together with previous findings clearly demonstrate that the 2 subtypes of IC represent separate entities. This separation further emphasizes the need to subtype all cases included in all scientific matters, ensuring that the 2 subtypes are evaluated separately in clinical studies.

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