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Key IC/BPS Developments in 2016: Urinary Biomarkers, Botulinum Toxin, and More

Jhang JF, Kuo HC. Bladder dysfunction in 2016: New insights into interstitial cystitis and chronic pelvic pain syndromes. Nat Rev Urol. 2016 Nov 29. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2016.249. [Epub ahead of print]

The year 2016 was exciting and productive for research into interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), yielding a number of new insights and research breakthroughs that may have implications for patient care, according to authors of this end-of-year review. Of note, one key advance was the first-ever prospective, multicenter, randomized controlled trial showing that intravesical injections of botulinum toxin reduced bladder pain in patients with IC/BPS that was not responding to standard treatment. These results were significant enough to prompt the American Urological Association (AUA) to change their treatment guidelines to give a stronger recommendation for this treatment option. Another key development was the identification of a urinary biomarker that could help diagnose IC/BPS. The marker, known as urinary etio-S, effectively differentiates individuals who have IC/BPS from those who do not, with a sensitivity of 91.2% and specificity of 84.7%. While encouraging, the authors say further research is needed to confirm the utility of this biomarker. The authors also highlight a finding by Japanese researchers who used a novel approach to measuring inflammation of the bladder lining to distinguish between Hunner-type and non-Hunner-type IC/BPS, and review the new guide from the International Continence Society that helps establish standard terminology for chronic pelvic pain syndromes.