Etiology of Interstitial Cystitis and the Role of Pentosanpolysulfate in IC Therapy
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For over 40 years I have studied the bladder epithelium and interstitial cystitis (IC). I have seen over 9000 patients and conducted extensive basic laboratory and clinical research on IC that has substantially changed my concepts of the disease. My understanding now is that there is one primary disease process that generates bladder symptoms of urgency, frequency, pain and incontinence (in any combination) in women of all ages and men less than 55 (before the age of bladder outlet obstruction). This pathologic process is a dysfunctional, “leaky” bladder epithelium that allows urinary potassium to diffuse into the bladder interstitium and directly depolarize, nerves, muscles, cause bladder symptoms and injure tissue. The rare but not separate severe form of this process is the patient historically diagnosed with IC .
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