Clinical presentation and treatment of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) in India
Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) is a chronic disease characterized by pelvic pain urgency and frequency. Patients with severe symptoms lead a very miserable life. North American, European and Asian guidelines have been recently promulgated but they differ on many important issues. There is no consensus on its name, definition, investigations and management. Indian guidelines have also been developed and they give more importance to the symptoms in relation to micturition. Though initially believed to be rare or non-existent in India the situation has changed. In Indian patients the presentation is more or less same as the rest of the world but a large percentage have obstructive symptoms and unusual urinary symptoms. Anal discomfort is also common. In India the commonest investigation in all cases of lower urinary tract (LUT) dysfunction is ultrasonography of kidney ureter and bladder with measurement of the post void residual urine volume. Cystoscopy is also done in all the cases to rule out presence of tuberculosis or carcinoma in situ. Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) is not considered to be a clinical disease as it is difficult to rule out all differential diagnosis only from history. Hunner’s lesion is very rare. Cystoscopy with hydro distension, oral therapy, intravesical therapy and surgical therapy form the back bone of management. It is difficult to know which treatment is best for a given patient. A staged protocol is followed and all the treatment modalities are applied to the patients in a sequential fashion—starting from the non-invasive to more invasive. Intravesical botox has not been found to be effective and there is no experience with interstim neuromodulation.