Significant Linkage Evidence for Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome on Chromosome 3

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Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is a chronic pelvic pain condition of unknown etiology. We hypothesized that related interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome cases were more likely to have a genetic etiology. The purpose of this study was to perform a genetic linkage analysis.

Materials and Methods

We identified interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome cases using diagnostic codes linked to the Utah Population Database genealogy resource and to electronic medical records. For this analysis we used 13 high risk pedigrees, defined as having a statistical excess number of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome cases among descendants compared to matched hospital population rates. Case status was confirmed in medical records using natural language processing. DNA was obtained from stored, nonneoplastic, formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue blocks. Each pedigree had at least 2 cases with DNA available. Parametric linkage analysis was performed.


Pedigrees ranged in size from 2 to 12 genotyped cases for a total of 48 cases. Significant genome wide linkage evidence was found under a dominant model on chromosome 3p13-p12.3 (maximum heterogeneity Θ logarithm of odds 3.56). Two pedigrees showed at least nominal linkage evidence in this region (logarithm of odds greater than 0.59). The most informative pedigree included 12 interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome cases (pedigree Θ logarithm of odds 2.1). Other regions with suggestive linkage evidence included 1p21-q25, 3p21.1-p14.3, 4q12-q13, 9p24-p22 and 14q24-q31, all under a dominant model.


While the etiology of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is unknown, this study provides evidence that a genetic variant(s) on chromosome 3 and possibly on chromosomes 1, 4, 9 and 14 contribute to an interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome predisposition. Sequence analysis of affected cases in identified pedigrees may provide insight into genes contributing to interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome.

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