Prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections by intravesical administration of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate: a placebo-controlled randomised trial

Eur Urol. 2011 Apr;59(4):645-51. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2010.12.039. Epub 2011 Jan 18.


Background: Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a prevalent condition in women during their lifetime with a high rate of recurrence within 3-6 mo.

Objectives: Our aim was to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of the intravesical administration of combined hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulphate (CS) in female patients with a history of recurrent UTI.

Design, setting, and participants: We conducted a prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing the intravesical instillation of HA-CS with placebo in women with recurrent UTI.

Intervention: Participants were randomised to receive 50 ml of sterile sodium HA 1.6% and CS 2.0% solution (IALURIL(®)) weekly for 4 wk and then monthly for 5 mo.

Measurements: The primary end point of the study was defined as the mean number of UTI per patient per year. Participants were evaluated addressing UTI status/urinary symptoms and with a general health-related quality-of-life (QoL) questionnaire at baseline and after 3, 6, 9, and 12 mo.

Results and limitations: In the intention-to-treat analysis, 57 women were randomly allocated to HA-CS (n=28) or placebo (n=29). The UTI rate per patient per year at the end of the study (12 mo) (mean±SD: -86.6%±47.6 vs -9.6%±24.6; mean difference: 77%; 95% confidence interval, 72.3-80.8; p=0.0002) and the mean time to UTI recurrence (52.7±33.4 vs 185.2±78.7 d; p<0.001) were significantly reduced after treatment with HA-CS compared with placebo. Overall urinary symptoms and QoL measured by questionnaires significantly improved compared with placebo (Pelvic Pain and Urgency/Frequency questionnaire symptom score: 14.53±4.32 vs 9.88±6.77; p=0.004; SF-36 QoL score: 78.6±6.44 vs 53.1±4.72; p<0.001). No serious adverse event was reported.

Conclusions: Compared with placebo, HA-CS intravesical instillations significantly reduced UTI rate without severe side effects while improving symptoms and QoL over a 12-mo period in patients with recurrent UTI.

Trial registration: ISRCTN 76354426.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Adult
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / administration & dosage*
  • Cystitis / drug therapy
  • Cystitis / prevention & control*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Quality of Life
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Viscosupplements / administration & dosage*


  • Placebos
  • Viscosupplements
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Chondroitin Sulfates

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN76354426