NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The results of a small open-label study suggest that intravesical chondroitin sulphate is a safe and effective treatment for some patients with interstitial cystitis.
The authors of the report in the January issue of BJU International explain that chondroitin sulphate is a glycosaminoglycan that makes up a mucus layer of the bladder. Prior research has suggested that changes in chondroitin play a role in the pathogenesis of interstitial cystitis. Moreover, data from single-center studies indicate that intravesical instillation of chondroitin may have beneficial effects for this condition.
In a multicenter study, Dr. J. Curtis Nickel, from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues assessed the outcomes of 53 patients who received intravesical infusions of chondroitin, weekly for 6 weeks and then monthly for 16 weeks. The subjects had moderately severe interstitial cystitis for an average of 9.2 years.
The main outcome measure — treatment response — was defined as a moderate or marked improvement on the 7-point Global Response Assessment at week 10. The Patient Symptom/Problem Index was also used to assess the response to chondroitin.
At week 10, 47.2% of subjects were treatment responders. By 24 weeks, the latest follow-up point, the response rate had climbed to 60.4%. Significant improvements in symptom scores were also noted at 10 and 24 weeks.
No significant adverse effects were noted during the study and the treatment was generally tolerable, the report indicates.
In light of these encouraging findings, the research team believes a randomized placebo-controlled trial investigating intravesical chondroitin for interstitial cystitis is warranted.
BJU Int 2009;103:56-60.