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Interstitial Cystitis

Bladder pain syndrome

Interstitial cystitis has been given many names over the years; the latest, and currently preferred term, is the "Bladder Pain Syndrome".

According to the late Tim Christmas’s excellent review on this subject (available in the Library), the first recorded case of interstital cystitis (bladder pain syndrome) was in 1836, by Louis Mercier. He described the unusual situation of a bladder rupture secondary to ulceration. In 1870, Sir James Simpson of The London Hospital treated two women with painful ulcerated bladders; one was treated with intravesical silver nitrate followed by diversion of their bladders via the vagina in both women. This does seem to have helped.

The term interstitial cystitis was first used in 1887 by Alexander Johnston Chalmers Skene (1837 - 1900, pictured right), a New York gynaecologist, whilst the pathognomonic Hunner’s ulcer was originally described by Guy Leroy Hunner of Baltimore in 1914.

Hurry Fenwick, of The London Hospital, was the first to recommend transurethral resection of the ulcers in 1896.

Hermon Bumpus was the first surgeon to use hydrostatic distension of the bladder in 1930; he distended it to a pressure of 100mm Hg under general anaesthetic.

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