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Hyaluronic Acid/Chondroitin May Be Superior to DMSO in Women with IC/BPS, Study Finds

Cervigni M, Sommariva M, Tenaglia R, Porru D, Ostardo E, Giammò A, Trevisan S, Frangione V, Ciani O, Tarricone R, Pappagallo GL. A randomized, open-label, multicenter study of the efficacy and safety of intravesical hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate versus dimethyl sulfoxide in women with bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. Neurourol Urodyn. 2016 Sep 21. doi: 10.1002/nau.23091. [Epub ahead of print]

Previous studies have shown that hyaluronic acid (HA) plus chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a potentially promising treatment for women with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). It this study, investigators compared HA/CS to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in 110 women with IC/BPS. About two-thirds of the women received HA/CS, and the rest received DMSO. Both treatments were delivered directly to the bladder using a catheter for a total of 13 weeks, or approximately 3 months. Patients were evaluated at 6 months after the treatment start date. Investigators found that both HA/CS and DMSO treatment resulted in significant reductions in pain intensity. However, when the analysis was limited to those women who received treatment exactly as planned, they found the reduction in pain intensity was greater for those receiving HA/CS. Moreover, less than 2% of patients had adverse effects related to HA/CS, compared with 22% in the DMSO group. Finally, while both treatments improved quality of life, HA/CS had a more favorable cost-effectiveness profile, meaning that the treatment is a better value for each health care dollar spent, at least in this study.