What Is End-Stage Interstitial Cystitis & What Is The Best Treatment For IC?

About 5% of cases have recurrent IC flares for more than 2 years. Persistent pain results in hardening of the bladder and these patients have end-stage with serious complications.1,2

Antihistamines approved by the Food and Drug Administration are effective in the treatment of IC.3

No one treatment works for everyone, IC patients require single or a combination of treatments to find relief from symptoms.4

Interstitial cystitis is a debilitating condition that has a reduced quality of life. Although many methodologies to therapy have been investigated, no reliably effective treatment has been recognized. Persistent small capacity, markedly inflamed, friable, painful bladders are often referred to as end-stage interstitial cystitis.

Researchers continue to research IC and study why interstitial cystitis symptoms can be altered in various patients. Quality of life (QoL) continues to be challenging in these patients about his or her overall health often compounded by the incidence of worsening mental health, sexual act, sleep hygiene, work efficiency, and social movement.

What Is End-Stage Interstitial Cystitis?

Clinicians around the world agree that there are two subtypes of interstitial cystitis.

Non-Ulcerative – Non-ulcerative IC presents with pinpoint hemorrhages, also known as glomerulations, in the bladder wall. It is characterized by similar clinical symptoms such as urgency and frequency however this can be due to Hunner’s ulcers.

Ulcerative – The hallmark of marked ulcerative IC is a reddened appearance to the bladder surface epithelium. 5 to 10% of IC patients often struggle with ulcerative cases.

About 5% of cases have recurrent interstitial cystitis flares for more than 2 years. Persistent pain results in hardening of the bladder and these patients have end-stage with serious complications. More than 85% of patients with IC are women, and the normal age of onset is above 40. Most of these cases are due to Hunner’s ulcers and worsen with pelvic inflammation and sexual activity.

They all had classic urinary frequency, bladder volumes were small, and compliance was at a low level. Not only they had a lower level of compliance instead they struggled with renal failures as well. A study was conducted on 25 patients comprised of 17 women and 8 men ranging between the age of 25-80 years. All the patients showed marked inflammatory bladders that bled frequently with cystoscopy.1,2

The majority of these patients did not progress in their condition and treatment did not provide proven results. Doctors suggest radical surgical treatment offers the best chances of success.

What Is The Best Treatment For Interstitial Cystitis?

No one treatment works for everyone, IC patients require single or a combination of treatments to find relief from symptoms. Many available treatment options often provide relief from the symptoms of IC, this includes a variety of medications, including both non-prescription and prescription medicines.

Physical Therapy – Pelvic floor physical therapy is the most proven treatment for improving symptoms of IC. This can relax and lengthen tight muscles and release trigger points which eventually help ease IC symptoms and pain.3

Oral Medicines – Common treatments for interstitial cystitis involve oral drugs. A broad range of prescription oral drugs are available for use, each with their possible risks and benefits. Antihistamines approved by the Food and Drug Administration are effective in the treatment of IC.

Bladder Distension – This is one of the best techniques to diagnose interstitial cystitis. Bladder distention can increase the bladder capacity that transmits pain signals from the bladder thereby relieving pain. The procedure is often repeated when you have long-term improvement.4

References:

  1. “AUA 2019: Characterization of the ‘End-Stage Bladder’ in Chronic Cystitis.” UroToday, www.urotoday.com/conference-highlights/aua-2019-annual-meeting/aua-2019-lower-urinary-tract-conditions/112295-aua-2019-characterization-of-the-end-stage-bladder-in-chronic-cystitis.html.
  2. “What Is Interstitial Cystitis (IC)?” Interstitial Cystitis Association, 11 May 2020, www.ichelp.org/about-ic/what-is-interstitial-cystitis/.
  3. “Interstitial Cystitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/interstitial-cystitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354362.
  4. “Treatment for Interstitial Cystitis.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 July 2017, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/interstitial-cystitis-painful-bladder-syndrome/treatment.

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