AUA: Hyperbaric Oxygen Eases Interstitial Cystitis

May 30, 2006

ATLANTA ? Relief came to interstitial cystitis patients after 30 sessions in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber over five weeks, according to a small study.

ATLANTA, May 30 ? Relief came to interstitial cystitis patients after 30 sessions in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber over five weeks, according to a small study.

In a double-blind, controlled study, 21 patients with interstitial cystitis were randomly assigned either hyperbaric oxygen treatment or a similar sham session breathing normal air at normal pressure, researchers reported at the American Urological Association meeting here.

These who responded to treatment reported an 80% decrease in pain and urgency, said Arndt van Ophoven, M.D, a urologist at the University of Muenster in Germany. Hyperbaric oxygen appears to promote healing, he said.

Eight of the 14 patients receiving 100% oxygen improved, while none of the seven individuals given sham treatments responded at all, a statistically significant difference (P

While treatment suggestions abound for patients with interstitial cystitis, researchers still seek consistently effective regimens for large numbers of patients.

"People with interstitial cystitis sometimes have to urinate up to 50 times a day and eight to 10 times a night," said Kristene Whitmore, M.D., chief of urology at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute in Philadelphia.

Among other interstitial cystitis reports reported here:

  • A mail survey found that 39% of 206 women who identified themselves as having interstitial cystitis reported various forms of earlier abuse compared with 22.4% of more than 500 women who acted as controls. The difference was statistically significant (P