Interstitial cystitis, also known as IC, is a hardening of the bladder and a disease of the urinary tract. There is inflammation and irritation, which will lead to stiffness and scarring of the bladder and the urinary tract. It affects over a million people. It is generally a disease of exclusion, one that will generally take years to get. There will be many tests ran before you will end up receiving a cystoscopy (where a small camera is put up the ureter and to the bladder so that they can see the lining and the walls). However there is a generalized guideline now in place with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (the NIDDK). Full of controversy on whether this is a well thought out guideline is prevalent in the IC community, but it is the only standardized guideline in place today.
NIDDK Research Definition of Interstitial Cystitis: Inclusion Criteria
1. Cystoscopy - glomerulations and/or classic Hunner’s ulcer.
2. Symptoms - bladder pain and/or bladder urgency.
NIDDK Research Definition of Interstitial Cystitis: Exclusion Criteria
1. Bladder capacity greater than 350cc on awake cystometry.
2. Absence of an intense urge to void with the bladder filled to 100cc during cystometry using a fill rate of 30-100cc/min.
3. Demonstration of phasic involuntary bladder contractions on cystometry using the fill rate described in number 2.
4. Duration of symptoms less than 9 months.
5. Absence of nocturia.
6. Symptoms relieved by antimicrobials, urinary antiseptics, anticholinergics, or antispasmodics.
7. Frequency of urination while awake of less than eight times a day.
8. Diagnosis of bacterial cystitis or prostatitis within a 3-month period.
9. Bladder or ureteral calculi.
10. Active genital herpes.
11. Uterine, cervical, or urethral cancer.
12. Urethral diverticulum.
13. Cyclophosphamide or any type of chemical cystitis.
14. Tuberculous cystitis.
15. Radiation cystitis.
16. Benign or malignant bladder tumors.
18. Age less than 18 years.
Cystometry – Where the bladder is filled with water to measure bladder capacity, usually done while the patient is sedated.
Glomerations – Where there are small pinpoint bleeding spots on the bladder.
Hunner’s Ulcers – Where there are ulcers on the bladder wall or lining.
Prostatitis – An infection of the prostate.
Nocturia – Frequent awakening at night to urinate, sometimes many times a night.
Cystoscopy – A small camera that is used to see inside the bladder and the bladder walls for tears and ulcers.
Calculi – Small stones or hardened “sand” that can be in the kidneys or ureter.