Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a challenging disease complex. Patients’ perception
of their outcomes after different treatment modalities may be the best measure of
therapeutic efficacy. Our study focused on a large group of women with a diagnosis
of IC who reported on perceived outcomes after undergoing invasive and pharmaceutical
treatments for their disease.
Seven hundred fifty patients with a diagnosis of IC completed a computerized survey
that queried each patient about their demographics, symptoms, concomitant diagnoses,
treatments, and their perceived treatment outcomes. The patients were surveyed on
therapies used to treat IC and whether they perceived their condition to be improved,
not affected or having deteriorated at a mean follow-up of 6 months. Pearson chi-squared
tests were used in the statistical analyses.
Invasive and medical therapies were surveyed. The most commonly performed procedures
were hydrodistention (61.9%), intravesical therapy (40.1%), and urethral dilatation
(26.5%). Of these procedures, 24.4% to 45.3% of patients were improved by these procedures;
whereas 27.0% to 49.8% felt no effect and 25.9% to 30.7% worsened. A comparison of
the number of patients who improved with those who deteriorated while on medical therapy
was found to be significant for all drugs (P <0.001). The majority of patients reported that medications improved their condition,
Medical therapy is perceived to be superior to invasive therapy in the treatment of
IC. Medication should be considered the first line therapy for IC. Several medications
showed a large percentage of patients with improvement in symptoms. These medications
were calcium glycerophosphate (Prelief, AkPharma Inc, Pleasantville, NJ), phenazopyridine,
and pentosan polysulfate sodium.