Cystoscopic findings in women with minimal and maximal lower urinary tract symptoms.

Glomerulations are not specific for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). Controversy exists about whether cystoscopic findings differ between patients with and without lower urinary tract symptoms. We sought to compare the prevalence of cystoscopic findings in women with "no or minimal" urinary symptoms to those with a "high" symptom burden.

This is a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study performed at a University Educational Facility. Participants in this study were part of a larger prospective study, in which female patients scheduled to undergo routine gynecologic procedures were all consented for cystoscopy with hydrodistension (CWHD). We defined the "minimally symptomatic group" as those with ≤1 on each of the O'Leary/Sant Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index (ICSI) subscores and without history of IC/BPS. The "highly symptomatic" cohort of women had composite ICSI score ≥12 and a Burning/Pain subscore of 4 or 5. All were non-smokers.

A total of 84 women underwent CWHD, with 33 having minimal symptoms and 51 being highly symptomatic. The two groups were not statistically different when assessing for 'any glomerulations' compared to 'no glomerulations.' However, minimally symptomatic women had an eight-fold lower prevalence of significant glomerulations than highly symptomatic women (3.0% minimally symptomatic vs. 23.5% highly symptomatic, P<0.05.).

Extensive glomerulations (≥10 in 3 or 4 quadrants) are rare in women with minimal urinary symptoms. These findings contrast with prior limited prospective data which quoted similar incidence of glomerulations in IC/BPS patients and asymptomatic patients. This study highlights the importance of evaluating objective evidence on CWHD and merits further investigation as part of the ongoing conversation regarding the definition of bladder health and pathology.

Translational andrology and urology. 2021 Jul [Epub]

Ioana Marcu, Jeffrey A Gavard, Golnar Vazirabadi, Joe Y Shi, Andrew C Steele, Fah Che Leong, Mary T McLennan, Jennifer A Bickhaus, Mary B Holloran-Schwartz, Patrick Yeung, Eugen C Campian

St. Louis University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health, St. Louis, MO, USA., St. Louis University School of Medicine, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health, St. Louis, MO, USA., St. Louis University School of Medicine, Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health, St. Louis, MO, USA.

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