The histology of interstitial cystitis

W. L. Lynes, Stuart D Flynn, L. D. Shortliffe, T. A. Stamey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several studies have reported histologic findings in interstitial cystitis (IC) bladder biopsy specimens. However, these studies used a variety of criteria to define IC, which may explain the variation noted in the histologic changes. Clinical experience shows that these biopsy specimens are often not helpful in confirming the diagnosis. Our study was designed to examine the histologic features identified in bladder biopsy specimens from patients with IC and compare them with biopsy specimens from a control population. Although IC patients as a group had a higher incidence and degree of denuded epithelium, ulceration, and submucosal inflammation, none of these findings was pathognomonic. In addition, these findings occurred only in interstitial cystitis patients with pyuria or small bladder capacity. The inflammatory infiltrate seen in IC was composed predominantly of lymphocytes, with increasing numbers of plasma cells as the degree of inflammation increased. There was no specific predilection for the inflammatory infiltrate to be perineural. Submucosal inflammation was associated with denuded epithelium, ulceration, pyuria, and a clinical response to therapy suggesting a pathophysiologic relationship. Epithelial and basement membrane thickness, submucosal edema, vascular ectasia, fibrosis, and detrusor muscle inflammation and fibrosis were not significantly different in the IC and control patients. These findings suggest that IC is a chronic submucosal inflammatory disease, at least in those patients with small bladder capacities or pyuria. IC is best diagnosed from its clinical features; the histologic changes identified in the bladder biopsy play a supportive role in this diagnosis. Mast cells play a limited role in the diagnosis of IC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-976
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Volume14
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Interstitial Cystitis
Histology
Pyuria
Urinary Bladder
Biopsy
Inflammation
Fibrosis
Epithelium
Pathologic Dilatations
Plasma Cells
Basement Membrane
Mast Cells
Blood Vessels
Edema
Lymphocytes

Keywords

  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Mast cells
  • Urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Lynes, W. L., Flynn, S. D., Shortliffe, L. D., & Stamey, T. A. (1990). The histology of interstitial cystitis. American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 14(10), 969-976.

The histology of interstitial cystitis. / Lynes, W. L.; Flynn, Stuart D; Shortliffe, L. D.; Stamey, T. A.

In: American Journal of Surgical Pathology, Vol. 14, No. 10, 1990, p. 969-976.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lynes, WL, Flynn, SD, Shortliffe, LD & Stamey, TA 1990, 'The histology of interstitial cystitis', American Journal of Surgical Pathology, vol. 14, no. 10, pp. 969-976.
Lynes WL, Flynn SD, Shortliffe LD, Stamey TA. The histology of interstitial cystitis. American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 1990;14(10):969-976.
Lynes, W. L. ; Flynn, Stuart D ; Shortliffe, L. D. ; Stamey, T. A. / The histology of interstitial cystitis. In: American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 1990 ; Vol. 14, No. 10. pp. 969-976.
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