Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis in contemporary UK practice: Outcomes of phenotype-directed management.

Problem bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) is a heterogeneous disorder with variation in management worldwide. Phenotyping aims to personalize therapy and optimize outcomes. The most well-described phenotype is Hunner lesion disease (HLD). The prevalence of HLD and outcome of phenotype-directed management in the UK is not well-studied. We describe the management of a contemporary cohort of patients with BPS/IC in the UK.

Retrospective analysis of all patients with BPS/IC from January 2015-November 2018. Outcomes of patients who underwent laser ablation to Hunner lesions were collected using the Global Response Assessment tool.

One hundred and sixty-three patients (mean age of 43 years [20-85]) were included. 78% were female and patients had experienced symptoms for an average 6 years (1-30) prior to specialist assessment. Eighty-three percent of patients had pelvic imaging (44% ultrasound, 42% magnetic resonance imaging and 14% computed tomography), and a relevant abnormality was found in five (4%). Twenty-two patients (14%) had HLD (International Society for the Study of BPS [ESSIC] 3), with a mean bladder capacity of 373 mL (175-650 mL); 77% were ESSIC C on histopathology. All patients with HLD underwent laser ablation, with 55% experiencing a moderate/marked improvement in symptoms, with a mean duration of effect of 10 months (3-36); 27% of patients had a repeat treatment.

The presence of HLD in patients with BPS/IC is not uncommon. Pelvic imaging rarely identifies any cause for pain and so cystoscopy under anesthesia is essential for accurate phenotyping. Phenotype-directed management with holmium laser ablation to Hunner lesions has good short-term efficacy in improving pain, but re-intervention is often required.

Lower urinary tract symptoms. 2020 Aug 31 [Epub ahead of print]

Anoushka Neale, Nabiah Malik, Claire Taylor, Arun Sahai, Sachin Malde

Department of Urology, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.