Gene expression shows promise for analyzing IC

March 7, 2012

The gene expression analysis of urine sediment could provide a noninvasive way to analyze interstitial cystitis in some patients, according to a recent study.

The gene expression analysis of urine sediment could provide a noninvasive way to analyze interstitial cystitis in some patients, according to a recent study.

The study authors’ goal was to develop a noninvasive method to analyze the bladder epithelium as objectively and directly as possible. During the study, the researchers used microarray technology to analyze cells shed into the urine as an alternative to bladder biopsies.

The results, which were published in the Journal of Urology (2012; 187:725-32), showed that urine cells from patients with Hunner’s lesions had a distinct gene signature for inflammation, similar to the results from a prior microarray study of bladder biopsies. The study was the first to show this inflammation objectively, but without biopsy, in Hunner’s lesion patients.

If these preliminary results are validated in future research, they may lead to a noninvasive biomarker for Hunner’s lesion-interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, said first author Eric Blalock, PhD, of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington.

"A crucial next step will be to determine the stability of this set of biomarkers across larger samples of the population, and to also see if similar procedures could be used for early diagnosis and intervention in the disease process," Dr. Blalock said.

For interstitial cystitis patients without Hunner’s lesions, the gene signatures were similar to healthy controls.

"This is important in view of the ongoing debate whether the two types of interstitial cystitis really are different disorders," said senior author Deborah Erickson, MD, of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. "Prior studies showed the two patient types did have different findings on bladder biopsies. Our findings support the difference, but without the need for biopsy."

Go back to this issue of Urology Times eNews.

Related Content

IC/PBS influenced by unique environmental factors

Cyclosporine shows efficacy in severe IC cases