Objectives: A role for nitric oxide (NO) has been suggested in inflammation and host defense. At higher concentrations, this gas shows cytotoxic effects that may be directed against microorganisms, tumor cells as well as host cells. The aim of the present study was to study the relationship between bladder mucosal inflammation and local production of NO.
Methods: We measured NO directly in the urinary bladder in patients with infectious cystitis, interstitial cystitis, irradiation cystitis, and cystitis induced by antitumor treatment with bacillus Calmette-Guérin. NO-free air was introduced into the bladder during cystoscopy. The air was aspirated after 5 minutes of incubation and injected into a chemiluminescence NO analyzer.
Results: NO levels were 30 to 50 times higher in all varieties of cystitis as compared to controls.
Conclusions: NO may contribute to host-defense mechanisms in the bladder during bacterial infection and antitumor treatment. Direct measurement of gaseous NO in the urinary bladder seems to be an attractive diagnostic method for detection of mucosal inflammation.