Role of Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Diagnosis of Bladder Pain Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis


      Some recent studies evaluated the introduction of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) in the diagnosis of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC).


      To evaluate whether DW-MRI can contribute to noninvasive diagnosis of BPS/IC. The agreement between two raters (2 radiologists involved in the study) was also evaluated, the relevance of the "operator-dependent" factor defined.

      Patients and Methods

      Twenty-two female patients with a diagnosis of BPS-IC were recruited and performed DW-MRI. The same investigation was also performed in 20 patients with pelvic gynecological diseases and no BPS-IC.


      A significant difference was found between BPS-IC and no-BPS-IC since 17 out of 22 subjects of the first group were positive, compared to 3 out of 20 no-IC subjects, with a P value of .001 to highlight the statistical significance. The sensitivity of the exam was 77%, while the specificity was 85%. There was good agreement between the 2 raters in the evaluation of MRI results.


      DW-MRI helps to obtain a noninvasive diagnosis of BPS/IC, by providing useful information on the choice of which patients may be more appropriately submitted to cystoscopy and bladder biopsy.
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