New Bladder Device for Interstitial Cystitis

It is estimated 300,000 Americans suffer from interstitial cystitis (IC), chronic pelvic pain or discomfort related to the urinary bladder with symptoms that include urinary urgency or frequency. Women are primarily affected by IC and may live with symptoms for years before diagnosed. The cause of symptom flare-ups is still unclear and diagnosis is often made after ruling out other possible causes for symptoms. Treatment is aimed at decreasing pain and sometimes includes pelvic floor physical therapy, analgesics or bladder instillations. Michael Cima, professor of engineering at MIT has developed a device to be placed in the bladder to deliver lidocaine (a local anesthetic/pain reliever) for up to two weeks. The device forms a pretzel shape, keeping it in the bladder until removed by a physician. The device is called LiRIS, lidocaine-releasing intravesical system. So far, LiRIS has only been tested in 28 patients, 18 with bladder problems and 10 without. Two different doses of lidocaine were tested, 200mg and 650mg. The 200mg dose of medication appeared as effective as the higher 650mg dose. Some participants reported reduced symptoms for two and a half months after the 2 week device was removed.

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