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J Urol. 2012 Dec;188(6):2238-41. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.08.013. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Fulguration for Hunner ulcers: long-term clinical outcomes.

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Arthur Smith Institute for Urology, Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, New Hyde Park and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, LR, Manhasset, New York, USA.



Cystoscopic fulguration of Hunner ulcers in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome is a recommended therapy because it has the potential to rapidly ameliorate symptoms. We reviewed our experience with Hunner ulcer fulguration.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome treated with Hunner ulcer fulguration who were seen at our pelvic pain referral center between 1993 and 2011. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, intraoperative findings and long-term clinical outcomes were assessed. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to evaluate time to the first repeat procedure. Potential risk factors associated with repeat procedures were examined using the log rank test.


A total of 106 procedures were performed in 59 patients. The mean history of illness before first fulguration was 5 years and overall median followup was 44.8 months (IQR 52.2), as calculated from the time of the first fulguration. There were no significant associations between time to the first repeat procedure and any demographic criteria analyzed, patient reported interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome associated conditions or the number of Hunner ulcers fulgurated at the initial session. A total of 27 patients (45.8%) required repeat fulguration. Time to event analysis demonstrated that 12 months after the initial fulguration 13.1% of patients required repeat treatment. This rate increased to 57.2% at 48 months, when it plateaued.


Fulguration of Hunner ulcers can be an effective treatment for patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and focal Hunner ulcers involving less than 25% of the bladder who have symptoms refractory to other therapies. However, a significant subset requires repeat treatment and some patients may even go on to require cystectomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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