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IC/BPS Diagnosis Can Be Simplified and Tailored Using Office-Based Algorithms

Kahn BS, Lombardi T. Interstitial cystitis: Simplified diagnosis and treatment. Contemporary OB/GYN. 2016 May 1.

In this practical review article, the authors state that treatment for most patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) can achieve significant symptom relief with many simple and effective treatments that are available. However, they acknowledge that diagnosing IC/BPS and formulating a treatment approach can be daunting for practitioners, and recommend using office-based algorithms and guidelines to guide treatment choices and for discussions with patients. To help facilitate patient-directed care, the authors outline current standards for diagnosis and testing, first- and second-line therapies, and follow-up care. Encouragingly, they say that most clinicians should be able to adequately care for patients with IC/BPS, and that most patients will not need referral to a specialist. However, part of the challenge of treating IC/BPS is understanding that each patient will need individually tailored therapy, and will need to learn what works for them in terms of effective care. Ultimately, they say that the most effective strategy, and the one that will lead to the greatest patient satisfaction, is helping patients take charge of the management of their disease.