• interstitial cystitis;
  • painful bladder syndrome;
  • chondroitin sulphate


To report a multicentre, community based open-label study designed to assess the efficacy and safety of intravesical sodium chondroitin sulphate in the treatment of patients with the clinical diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC). Chondroitin sulphate is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (GAG) in the bladder mucus layer and changes in this GAG have been implicated in the pathogenesis of IC, and small single-centre studies have suggested that intravesical chondroitin sulphate may have efficacy in IC.


Patients with IC were treated with sodium chondroitin sulphate (Uracyst®, Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc., London ON, Canada) solution 2.0% via urinary catheter weekly for 6 weeks and then monthly for 16 weeks for a total of 10 treatments. The primary efficacy endpoint was the percentage of responders to treatment as indicated by a marked or moderate improvement on a seven-point patient Global Response Assessment (GRA) scale at week 10 (4 weeks after the initial six treatments) compared with baseline. A major secondary efficacy endpoint (durability) was the percentage of responders on the GRA scale after 10 treatments. Additional secondary efficacy objectives were differences from baseline in Patient Symptom/Problem Index scores over the course of the treatment compared with baseline.


In all, 47% of the 53 enrolled patients with long standing moderately severe IC (mean [sd, range] diagnosis of IC 3.0 [3.4, 0.1–16] years; duration of symptoms 9.2 [9.2, 1–39] years; baseline symptom score 14.2 [3.2]) were responders at week 10. At 24 weeks, 60% were responders. There was a statistically and clinically significant decrease in the mean (sd) symptom and bother scores from baseline at 10 weeks and 24 weeks, at 9.0 (4.3) and 8.1 (5.0), respectively (P < 0.001). There were no significant safety issues during the study.


This multicentre community based real-life clinical practice study suggests that intravesical chondroitin sulphate may have an important role in the treatment of IC and validates the rationale for a randomized placebo-controlled trial.