Purpose: Interstitial cystitis has been rarely reported in children. We present our experience with 16 children in whom clinical symptomatology and cystoscopic findings were consistent with the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 20 children referred for chronic sensory urgency, frequency and bladder pain who underwent cystoscopy and hydrodistension. Four patients were excluded from study because of infection identified at cystoscopy or lack of cystoscopic changes with hydro-distension.
Results: Patient age at onset of first symptoms ranged from 2 to 11 years (median 4.5) and age at diagnosis ranged from 3 to 16 years (mean 8.2). Of the 16 children 14 (88%) presented with symptoms of urinary frequency and sensory urgency, and in 13 (81%) lower abdominal pain was relieved by voiding. None of the children had motor urgency. Urodynamic evaluation in 8 cases revealed early bladder sensation with no evidence of involuntary bladder contractions. Diffuse glomerulations and terminal hematuria were demonstrated in all patients after hydro-distension. Followup was available for 14 patients. Relief of symptoms occurred after hydro-distension in all children except 1. Seven children (50%) required repeat hydro-distension.
Conclusions: Children with symptoms of bladder pain, urinary frequency and sensory urgency have bladder changes on cystoscopy consistent with interstitial cystitis. Although rare, this condition is recognizable and it should not be confused with dysfunctional voiding in which complaints are secondary to involuntary bladder contractions.