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Papers: 4 Apr 2020 - 10 Apr 2020

2020 Apr 04

Int J Urol

Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome: The evolving landscape, animal models and future perspectives.


Akiyama Y, Luo Y, Hanno PM, Maeda D, Homma Y
Int J Urol. 2020 Apr 04.
PMID: 32246572.


Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome is a debilitating condition of unknown etiology characterized by persistent pelvic pain with lower urinary tract symptoms and comprises a wide variety of potentially clinically useful phenotypes with different possible etiologies. Current clinicopathological and genomic evidence suggests that interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome should be categorized by the presence or absence of Hunner lesions, rather than by clinical phenotyping based on symptomatology. The Hunner lesion subtype is a distinct inflammatory disease with proven bladder etiology characterized by epithelial denudation and enhanced immune responses frequently accompanied by clonal expansion of infiltrating B cells, with potential engagement of infection. Meanwhile, the non-Hunner lesion subtype is a non-inflammatory disorder with little evidence of bladder etiology. It is potentially associated with urothelial malfunction and neurophysiological dysfunction, and frequently presents with somatic and/or psychological symptoms, that commonly result in central nervous sensitization. Animal models of autoimmune cystitis and neurogenic sensitization might serve as disease models for the Hunner lesion and non-Hunner lesion subtypes, respectively. Here, we revisit the taxonomy of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome according to current research, and discuss its potential pathophysiology and representative animal models. Categorization of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome based on cystoscopy is mandatory to design optimized treatment and research strategies for each subtype. A tailored approach that specifically targets the characteristic inflammation and epithelial denudation for the Hunner lesion subtype, or the urothelial malfunction, sensitized/altered nervous system and psychosocial problems for the non-Hunner lesion subtype, is essential for better clinical management and research progress in this complex condition.