IC Article in the Washington Post
The Washington Post published an article on July 1st entitled “I’ve gained my life back’: New tests may help those with persistent urinary tract infections.“ The ICA responded to this article with the following Letter to the Editor:
Re: “I’ve gained my life back’: New tests may help those with persistent urinary tract infections.”
We appreciate your interest in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), but we believe your article is misleading and potentially harmful. Its primary thesis is that many individuals afflicted with IC/BPS have a chronic bladder infection that could be cured based upon unconventional, costly bacterial detection methods.
Cited research findings include individuals presenting with symptoms of an acute bladder infection are frequently found to have low levels of bacteria in their urine despite negative standard urine cultures. This research has little relevance to IC/BPS. Current studies, including through the NIH, do not suggest a clear bacterial cause of IC/BPS.
Symptoms of IC/BPS have been mistaken for a bladder infection and despite negative urine cultures, patients have been given courses of antibiotics to no avail; with sometimes disastrous consequences including: development of antibiotic-resistant organisms, C. difficile colitis, lung, liver, blood disorders, kidney dysfunction, amongst others.
Beyond anecdotes, there is no solid information provided to suggest that low levels of bacteria are responsible for IC/BPS. Nor are there data to suggest that prolonged courses of antibiotic therapy based upon these super sensitive tests, which can yield difficult-to-interpret results, will cure often-desperate patients with IC/BPS.
Robert Moldwin, MD
Professor of Urology
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell
Director, Pelvic Pain Treatment Center
The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology
Lee Lowery for the Board of Directors
Interstitial Cystitis Association