Hyaluronic acid improves pain symptoms more than bladder storage symptoms in women with interstitial cystitis

Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 May;58(3):417-422. doi: 10.1016/j.tjog.2018.11.033.


Objective: Intravesical hyaluronic acid (HA) therapy is one of acceptable methods to treat bladder pain and storage symptoms (i.e., urgency, frequency and nocturia) of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). We aim to assess the impacts of intravesical HA on bladder pain and storage symptoms, respectively, and to investigate their associated factors in patients with IC/BPS.

Materials and methods: In this prospective, multicenter study, 103 women with refractory IC/BPS undergoing a standard protocol of intravesical HA therapy were enrolled. A pain Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and the Interstitial Cystitis Symptom and Problem Index (ICSI & ICPI) were used to assess symptoms and bother associated with IC/BPS. The Scaled Global Response Assessment (GRA) was used to evaluate patients' perception of overall changes in bladder pain and storage symptoms, respectively, after treatment.

Results: Mean age of participants was 43.6 ± 11.8 years. The average duration of symptoms was 5.1 ± 5.0 years. Significant improvements in pain VAS, ICSI and ICPI scores were observed after treatment. However, patients reported significantly different rates of moderate/marked improvement in bladder pain and storage symptoms (73.8% vs. 47.6%; P < 0.001) on the GRA, respectively. "Lower pain VAS score" and "reduced functional bladder capacity" were found to be the factors that adversely affected the treatment responses of bladder pain and storage symptoms, respectively, after repeated statistical analyses.

Conclusion: Bladder instillation of HA seemed more efficient in improving bladder pain than storage symptoms associated with IC/BPS. The persistence of bladder storage symptoms after treatment might result from a reduced functional bladder capacity.

Keywords: Hyaluronic acid; Interstitial cystitis; Intravesical instillation; Lower urinary tract symptoms; Painful bladder syndrome.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Adult
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / drug therapy*
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder / drug effects*


  • Hyaluronic Acid