BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 124(2) 283-291 doi 10.1111/1471-0528.14433
To compare bladder sensitivity between patients with pelvic pain and patients who were pain free, undergoing noninvasive, controlled bladder distension via diuresis. We also sought to measure potential mechanisms underlying bladder sensitivity.
Prospective observational study.
Community teaching hospital.
Reproductive-age women with non-bladder chronic pelvic pain (CPP, n = 23), painful bladder syndrome (PBS, n = 23), and pelvic pain-free controls (n = 42) METHODS: Participants were compared on cystometric capacity, pelvic floor pressure-pain thresholds (PPTs), pelvic muscle function, O’Leary-Sant bladder questionnaire, and psychosocial instruments using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Multivariate regression was used to identify factors underlying bladder pain phenotypes.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Pelvic floor pain thresholds; self-reported bladder distension pain.
Participants with PBS exhibited higher bladder distension pain than those with CPP, with both groups reporting higher pain levels than controls (P < 0.05). No significant associations were found between bladder distension pain and pelvic muscle structure or pain sensitivity measures; however, bladder distension pain positively correlates with both vaginal PPTs adjacent to the bladder (r = 0.46) and pain with transvaginal bladder palpation (r = 0.56). Pain at maximal distension was less influenced by somatic sensitivity than bladder symptoms (r = 0.35 versus r = 0.59; P < 0.05). Multivariate regression identified three independent components of bladder symptoms in PBS: bladder distension pain, bladder sensation, and somatic symptoms. CONCLUSIONS
Diuresis-induced bladder pain differentiates CPP from PBS. Experimental bladder pain is not predicted by pelvic floor sensitivity. Compared with patient-reported outcomes it appears less influenced by psychological factors. Further study is needed to determine whether screening for experimental bladder pain sensitivity could predict future risk of PBS.
Controlled, water ingestion-provoked bladder pain can objectively identify visceral pain sensitivity.