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Hyaluronic Acid Treatments May Improve Symptoms and Quality of Life

Pyo JS, Cho WJ. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Intravesical Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid/Chondroitin Sulfate Instillation for Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;39(4):1618-1625. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of previously published studies, investigators sought to determine the potential benefits of hyaluronic acid (HA), alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate (CS) in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). These treatments are delivered intravesically, or directly to the bladder via a catheter. While such treatments are already recommended in recent treatment guidelines, there is a need to better characterize the effects of treatment and determine the potential benefit for patients. In their review, the authors included a total of 10 published studies including a total of 390 patients. They found that the HA treatments significantly improved patient-rated pain and symptoms of IC/BPS. The main endpoint they looked at was pain symptoms as measured by a visual analogue scale (VAS), and they found the beneficial effect on VAS was consistent across 9 studies. Based on these findings, the authors believe that intravesical instillation of HA or HA/CS could be considered as a potential treatment for patients with IC/BPS.