What is the pathophysiology of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS)?

Updated: Dec 04, 2020
  • Author: Eric S Rovner, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

The pathophysiology of interstitial cystitis is poorly understood. The disorder may represent a number of as yet undefined, disparate pathologic conditions that ultimately present as the clinical syndrome of urinary frequency, urgency, and pelvic pain. Some research suggests that the following may all play a role in the disease pathophysiology [13] :

  • Pelvic floor dyfunction
  • Dysregulated immune or inflammatory signals
  • Neural hypersensitivity
  • Disruption of the proteoglycan/glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer.

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