Activation of bladder mast cells in interstitial cystitis.
Int J Tissue React. 1992;14(6):307-12. PMID: 1306530
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a sterile, inflammatory bladder condition characterized by urinary frequency and urgency, as well as burning and suprapubic pain, which occurs more frequently in women who may suffer for years before diagnosis. An increased number of mast cells have been associated with IC, but the published reports are inconclusive and often conflicting. Human bladder biopsies were analysed blindly for the degree of activation of mast cells in control and IC patients. It was found that mast cells from IC patients averaged as high as 34 cells/mm2 as compared to less than 16/mm2 in controls. Electron microscopy revealed that over 90% of mast cells from IC patients were activated to various degrees. It is concluded that mast cell activation is a pathologic characteristic for IC.