Ulcerative and nonulcerative forms of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis do not differ in symptom intensity or response to onabotulinum toxin A

Urology. 2014 May;83(5):1030-4. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2014.01.018.


Objective: To determine whether intratrigonal Onabotulinum toxin A (OnabotA) injection produces a different symptomatic outcome and duration of effect on ulcerative (Ulc) and nonulcerative (NUlc) bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) patients and to compare the urinary levels of neurotrophines (NGF, BDNF, and GDNF) in response to OnabotA.

Methods: Ten Ulc and 14 NUlc bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis patients were included in this study. OnabotA (100 U) was injected in 10 trigonal sites, each receiving 10 U in 1 mL of saline. Outcome measures included pain visual analog scale (0-10), a 3-day voiding chart, O'Leary-Sant Score (OSS), and quality of life (QoL) from International Prostate Symptoms Score assessed before treatment, 1 month after injection, and every 3 months afterwards. Urinary NGF, BDNF, and GDNF were accessed using ELISA, at same time points. Treatment duration was determined at the time patients requested another injection.

Results: Patients had a mean age of 40 ± 12 years in the Ulc and 47 ± 13 years in the NUlc group (ns). Mean values at baseline of pain intensity, frequency, nocturia, OSS, QoL, and urinary NGF, BDNF, GDNF were identical in the 2 groups. Patients with the Ulc phenotype had a longer duration of symptoms (28.8 ± 11 vs 19.2 ± 8 months, P = .018). Both groups responded equally to OnabotA, with significant improvements in pain intensity, frequency, nocturia, OSS, QoL, and urinary NGF, BDNF, GDNF. The effect lasted for 9 ± 2.8 (Ulc) and 10.5 ± 2 (NUlc) months.

Conclusion: In this cohort, Ulc and NUlc patients had similar symptoms at baseline and comparable clinical response to intratrigonal OnabotA. These findings suggest that pain may not be directly related with ulcers themselves.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / complications*
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / diagnosis
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Ulcer / complications*
  • Ulcer / diagnosis
  • Ulcer / drug therapy*


  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A