The History of Interstitial Cystitis

The History of Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis has a relatively long and complicated history. The first case of IC could be as far reaching as the mid 1800’s. Even after 150 years, there is still very little known about the illness. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic and debilitating disease of the urinary tract and bladder that affects approximately one million people. It may not be just one singular illness but one incorporating many different illnesses. There is an inflamed and irritated bladder wall that leads to many bladder symptoms. The bladder wall of an IC patient will have stiffening and scarring of the bladder, less bladder capacity as a result of the scarring, small pinpoint bleeding on the bladder (glomerulations) and ulcers in the bladder lining (Hunner’s ulcers). 5-10% of IC sufferers will have Hunner’s ulcers, the rest have a non-Hunner’s type. So much isn’t known about the illness, even though it has been around for a while now. A general timeline to some of the highlights of the interstitial cystitis illness knowledge progression is as follows:

1836- Mercier documented interstitial cystitis
1887- The term interstitial cystitis was first used by Skene in the book; Diseases of the Bladder and Urethra in Women
beginning 1900’s- Fenwich described ulcers on trigonal tissues
1914- Hunner documented non-trigonal ulcers; documented bladder epithelial damage
1938- Fister compared IC to Lupus
1940’s- first use of caustic instills with aniline dyes and silver nitrate.
1944- IC is now accepted as a disease that affects men as well
1950’s to 1980’s- Both research and information slows to a crawl. IC begins to be viewed as a “women’s hysterical disease”.
1953- IC documented in children.
End of 1970’s- Walsh first used the term “glomerulations”. Messing and Stamey recognizes glomerulations as an indicator.
1987 to 1988- The NIH and ICA offer workshops to establish research criteria. NIH launched a database ICDB (Interstitial cystitis database) studies in 1991.
1997- Christmas wrote comprehensive analysis of history of IC
1998- IC now accepted as most challenging condition in urology.

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