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Can Urol Assoc J. 2017 Aug;11(8):255-259. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.4251.

Childhood bladder and bowel dysfunction predicts irritable bowel syndrome phenotype in adult interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome patients.

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Department of Urology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.
Division of Urology, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, United States.



Many clinicians have suggested that a history of bladder and bowel dysfunction (BBD) in childhood predisposes to the development of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adulthood. We hypothesized that BBD symptoms in childhood would predict the IBS-associated phenotype in adult IC/BPS patients.


Consecutive female patients (n=190) with a diagnosis of IC/BPS were administered a modified form of a clinical BBD questionnaire (BBDQ) to capture childhood BBD-like symptoms, as well as Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms Index (ICSI), Interstitial Cystitis Problem Index (ICPI), Pelvic Pain and Urgency/Frequency (PUF) questionnaires and UPOINT categorization. Patients were stratified to IBS-positive or IBS-negative according to clinical assessment of IBS-like symptoms.


The 127 patients (67%) identified with IBS-like symptoms recalled significantly higher BBDQ scores than the 63 patients (33%) who were IBS-negative (2.8 vs. 2.3; p=0.05). The IBS-positive patients also reported a higher number of UPOINT domains than their non-IBS counterparts (3.8 vs. 2.9; p=0.0001), while their PUF total scores were significantly higher (13.6 vs. 12.3; p=0.04). IBS-positive patients more often recalled that in childhood they did not have a daily bowel movement (BM) (p=0.04) and had "to push for a BM" (p=0.009). In childhood, they "urinated only once or twice per day" (p=0.03) and recalled "painful urination" more than those without IBS (p=0.03). There were no significant differences between the groups in answers to the other five questions of the BBDQ.


Our symptom recollection survey was able to predict the IBS phenotype of IC/BPS based on a childhood BBDQ. Further prospective studies are needed to further evaluate these novel findings.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: Dr. Nickel has been a consultant for Astellas, Auxillium, Eli Lilly, Farr Labs, Ferring, GSK, Pfizer, Taris Biomedical, Tribute, and Trillium Therapeutics; a speaker for Astellas and Eli Lilly; and has participated in clinical trials supported by GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Taris Biomedical. The remaining authors report no competing personal or financial interests.

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