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Mast Cells May Not Be The Best Biomarkers for IC
Mast cells are a key component of the human immune system. When large numbers of mast cells are found in the bladder’s muscular layer, known as detrusor muscle, that could mean a diagnosis of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC). However, an elevated number of mast cells could also indicate overactive bladder syndrome. To gain more insight, investigators used state-of-the-art methods to analyze mast cells in bladder biopsies from 56 patients with bladder disorders. They found that a high number of mast cells didn’t necessarily mean the patient had BPS/IC. In fact, they analyzed mast cells in a number of different ways, and found they couldn’t distinguish overactive bladder syndrome from BPS/IC without Hunner’s lesion (the more common form of IC). They did, however, find a specific distribution of mast cells that seemed to be characteristic for BPS/IC with Hunner’s lesions (the less common, often more severe form of IC).