We test the hypothesis that women without chronic pelvic pain or irritative voiding symptoms do not demonstrate petechial hemorrhages known as glomerulations that are characteristic of patients with interstitial cystitis.Materials and Methods
A prospective cohort design was used for examination with cystoscopy and bladder distention of 20 asymptomatic women undergoing tubal ligation. Cystoscopy with the patient under general anesthesia was performed to inspect the bladder mucosa before and after distention at 70 cm. of water pressure for 2 or 6 minutes. Photographs of the right, posterior and left of the bladder surfaces taken before and after the distention were scored on a scale of 1 to 5 using a panel of standards. Five urologists blinded to the source of individual photographs independently evaluated 120 research images interspersed with 46 other pictures from a library containing images from 19 symptomatic patients with and without interstitial cystitis.Results
A total of 20 normal women with a mean age plus or minus standard deviation of 29 +/- 6 years consented to participate in this trial during laparoscopic tubal ligation. Photographs of bladder sites before and after distention with 890 +/- 140 ml. were scored as 1.4 +/- 0.3 (before distention) and 3.1 +/- 1.1 (after distention) on the scale of 1 to 5. The increase in scores following distention in normal subjects was seen to the same degree and in the same proportion as in patients with symptoms of interstitial cystitis (8 to 19 symptomatic patients in this series met current diagnostic criteria for interstitial cystitis). Slight but significant differences were seen among sites in the bladder but not between 2 and 6-minute distention durations.Conclusions
Bladder mucosal lesions characteristically associated with irritative voiding symptoms and pelvic pain in patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis were observed in asymptomatic women.