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Pentosanpolysulphate for interstitial cystitis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, UK.


Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic disease of unknown etiology which primarily affects women aged 40-60 years. Many plausible theories for the development of IC have been postulated, and one current theory is that these patients have a quantitative and qualitative defect in the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer of the urothelium. Such a defect may allow toxic substances in the urine to gain access to the lamina propria and initiate a chronic inflammatory process. Pentosanpolysulphate (PPS) is a sulphated proteoglycan similar in structure to heparin sulphate, which is quantitatively the major GAG on cell surfaces. Exogenously administered PPS has been shown in several studies to decrease bladder pain and urinary frequency and to increase the voided volume. Further studies are required to evaluate the role of PPS in the management of IC patients, with particular emphasis on dosage, route of administration and combination with other compounds.

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