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Urology. 2008 Jun;71(6):1085-90. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.12.091.

Urinary tract infection and inflammation at onset of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome.

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Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.



Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) is a chronic disease primarily in women that is of low incidence and unknown etiology and manifests as bladder pain and urinary symptoms. Acute urinary tract infection (UTI) is of high incidence in women, presents as dysuria and urinary symptoms, and is caused by uropathogenic bacteria. We hypothesized that UTI is present at the onset of IC/PBS in some women.


For a case-control study seeking risk factors for IC/PBS, women with IC/PBS symptoms of 12 months or less were recruited and evaluated by interview and medical record review. The date of symptom onset was identified by a six-step process. Three evidence-based methods using culture, urinalysis, and symptoms were used separately and in combination to diagnose UTI at IC/PBS onset.


Of 1177 screened women, 314 with recent-onset IC/PBS, including numerous confirming characteristics, were enrolled in the study; 98% of the requested medical records were obtained and reviewed. Evidence of a UTI at the onset of IC/PBS was found in 18% to 36% of women. Common UTI features not used in its diagnosis (short interval to medical care, hematuria, antibiotic treatment, and improvement after antibiotics) were significantly more common in those with onset UTI than in those without.


These retrospective data suggest that a proportion, probably a minority, of women at IC/PBS onset had evidence of UTI or inflammation. Our results indicate that UTI is present at the onset of IC/PBS in some women and might reveal clues to IC/PBS pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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