Clinical Phenotyping Does Not Differentiate Hunner Lesion Subtype of Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome: A Relook at the Role of Cystoscopy

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Purpose:Identifying Hunner lesions in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome presents an opportunity for objective classification into Hunner lesion interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (classic interstitial cystitis) and nonHunner lesion bladder pain syndrome. While currently the former diagnosis requires cystoscopy, limited data suggest that these subtypes can be distinguished without endoscopy based on the degree of bladder focused centricity and the infrequent association with generalized pain conditions.Materials and Methods:Patients in a prospective, single center database of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome who had documented cystoscopic findings were categorized with Hunner lesion interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome or nonHunner lesion bladder pain syndrome. Demographics, pain and symptom scores, voiding symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome and clinical UPOINT (urinary, psychosocial, organ specific, infection, neurological and tenderness) scoring were comparatively analyzed.Results:We reviewed the records of 469 patients, including 359 with documented local anesthetic cystoscopic findings, 44 (12.3%) with Hunner lesion interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and 315 (87.7%) with nonHunner bladder pain syndrome. Patients with Hunner lesions were older (p = 0.004) and had greater urinary frequency (p = 0.013), more nocturia (p = 0.0004) and higher ICSI (Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index) scores (p = 0.017). Hunner lesion prevalence was significantly lower in those younger than 50 years vs those 50 years old or older (7.8% vs 14.9%, p = 0.0095). There was no difference in the number of UPOINT phenotype domains reported, overall UPOINT scores or the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome between the groups.Conclusions:A subtype of interstitial cystitis with Hunner lesions has worse bladder centric symptoms but did not show a distinct bladder centric phenotype. Given the management implications of distinguishing classic interstitial cystitis from nonHunner lesion bladder pain syndrome, we recommend cystoscopy with local anesthesia in patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.

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