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Neurologic Measure May Provide New Way to Distinguish IC/BPS from Other Conditions

Regauer S, Gamper M, Fehr MK, Viereck V. Sensory hyperinnervation distinguishes bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis from overactive bladder syndrome. J Urol. 2016 Jul 1. pii: S0022-5347(16)30759-5. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.06.089. [Epub ahead of print]
Researchers in this study evaluated whether a neurologic measure known as sensory hyperinnervation could be used as a marker to identify interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) and distinguish it from other, similar conditions. They studied biopsies from the bladder of patients with IC/BPS (with or without Hunners lesions), overactive bladder syndrome, and healthy individuals. They measured sensory hyperinnervation, as well as expression of neurotrophin (nerve growth factor) receptor. They found that they were able to distinguish IC/BPS from overactive bladder syndrome by looking at sensory hyperinnervation and neurotrophin receptor staining, together with evaluation of inflammatory white blood cells and the integrity of the bladder lining. While the findings are preliminary, using criteria such as these could help clinicians correctly identify IC/BPS earlier in the course of disease, allowing for timely treatment that could help alleviate symptoms or help prevent disease progress.