Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) is characterized by urinary frequency, urgency, and pelvic pain in the absence of any other identifiable pathology.
Initial identification of IC/PBS is challenging, as patients may have a range of symptoms that overlap with other disorders, including urinary tract infection (UTI).
These patients may be treated empirically with antibiotics; however, many patients with such symptoms are actually culture negative and are later diagnosed with IC/PBS.
This review describes the importance of recognizing the symptom overlap between IC/PBS and UTI and focuses on approaches to the diagnosis and management of IC/PBS.
Physicians can improve patient care by considering IC/PBS early in the differential diagnosis.
Source: Journal of Women’s Health. 2007 Oct;16(8):1181-7. PMID: 17937571, by Dell, JR. Institute for Female Pelvic Medicine, Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.