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Electromotive drug administration of lidocaine and dexamethasone followed by cystodistension in women with interstitial cystitis.

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Royal Women's Hospital, Carlton Victoria, Australia.


Electromotive drug administration (EMDA) involves the active transport of ionized drugs such as lidocaine by the application of an electric current. Twenty-one female subjects with interstitial cystitis were treated with EMDA of lidocaine and dexamethasone, followed by cystodistension. The procedure was convenient and well tolerated, with hospital attendance for 1 hour. Bladder anesthesia was excellent, with cystodistension from a discomfort level of 200 ml to a mean volume of 600 ml. Eighty-five percent had a good response (reduction in frequency and in pain score by 3 or more) at 2 weeks, with 63% still responding at 2 months. An excellent response (pain score of 0) was present in 25% of patients reviewed at 6 months. These results are comparable to the response following cystodistension under general anesthesia. There is a need for a randomized blinded comparison of lidocaine with and without EMDA. If proven to be of pharmacological efficacy, EMDA would have many applications in facilitating procedures previously requiring general anesthesia.

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