What is the role of cystoscopy in the diagnosis 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

Aside from a thorough history and physical examination, cystoscopy is described as the most important diagnostic tool for assessing a patient who may have interstitial cystitis. Cystoscopy, with bladder overdistention, is performed to help exclude other causes of symptoms suggestive of interstitial cystitis and to provide evidence for the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis. In addition, a biopsy of the bladder can be performed to evaluate for carcinoma in situ or other inflammatory conditions. Contraindications to cystoscopy and bladder distention include the following:

  • Anesthetic risk
  • History of prior rupture during distention
  • Pregnancy
  • Urinary tract infection

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