Urine markers of interstitial cystitis

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53 Scopus citations


This article describes the current state of the art with regard to urine markers of interstitial cystitis (IC), and describes the areas that need continuing research. Articles referenced in MEDLINE that describe urine alterations in IC were reviewed. Additional articles were identified by cross-referencing. The different marker alterations were tabulated. The relevant articles were discussed, considering different purposes for urine markers including: (1) diagnosing IC; (2) confirming a specific pathophysiology for IC; and (3) predicting or following response to a specific treatment. Currently, 2 markers (glycoprotein-51 and antiproliferative factor [APF]) clearly separate IC and control subjects, with minimal overlap. Markers that correlate with specific bladder biopsy features include 1,4-methylimidazole acetic acid and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), which correlate with mast cell density, and interleukin (IL)-6, which correlates with mononuclear inflammation. Markers that changed after treatment were as follows: (1) nitric oxide synthase and cyclic guanosine monophosphate increased with oral L-arginine; (2) ECP decreased with subcutaneous heparin; (3) prostaglandin E2 and kallikrein decreased after bladder distention; (4) neutrophil chemotactic activity decreased after dimethyl sulfoxide; (5) IL-2 inhibitor decreased after oral nifedipine; (6) IL-2, IL-6, and IL-8 decreased after bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine; and (7) APF and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor changed to or toward normal levels after bladder distention or sacral nerve stimulation. A larger number of urine alterations have been reported, and a few are being pursued further by correlating with bladder biopsy findings or treatment responses. Further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
Issue number6 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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