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Biology LibreTexts

15.22B: Cystitis

  • Page ID
    12329
  • LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    • Differentiate among the distinct types of cystitis: traumatic, interstitial, eosinophilic, hemorrhagic cystitis, and cystitis cystica, recognizing their causes and risk factors

    A urinary tract infection (UTI), a bacterial infection that affects the lower urinary tract, is also known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection). Symptoms from a lower urinary tract infection include painful urination and either frequent urination or the urge to urinate (or both). Cystitis is a urinary bladder inflammation that can result from any one of a number of distinct syndromes. It is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection in which case it is referred to as a urinary tract infection.

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    Figure: Proteus vulgaris on MacConkey agar: After 24 hours, this inoculated MacConkey agar culture plate cultivated colonial growth of Gram-negative, rod-shaped, and facultatively anaerobic Proteus vulgaris bacteria. Normally found in the humans gastrointestinal tract, Proteus spp. are opportunistic pathogens, which means that they usually do not cause disease. However, under immunocompromised circumstances, i.e., weakened immunity, these bacteria can be found the culprit responsible for urinary tract infections such as cystitis and pyelonephritis.

    Signs and Symptoms

    • Pressure in the lower pelvis
    • Painful urination (dysuria)
    • Frequent urination (polyuria) or urgent need to urinate (urinary urgency)
    • Need to urinate at night (nocturia)
    • Urine that contains traces of blood (haematuria)
    • Dark, cloudy or strong-smelling urine
    • Pain above the pubic bone, or in the lower back or abdomen
    • Feeling unwell, weak, or feverish

    There are several medically distinct types of cystitis, each having a unique etiology and therapeutic approach:

    • Traumatic cystitis is probably the most common form of cystitis in the female. It is due to bruising of the bladder, usually by abnormally forceful sexual intercourse. This is often followed by bacterial cystitis, frequently by coliform bacteria being transferred from the bowel through the urethra into the bladder.
    • Interstitial cystitis (IC) is considered more of an injury to the bladder resulting in constant irritation and rarely involves the presence of infection. IC patients are often misdiagnosed with UTI/cystitis for years before they are told that their urine cultures are negative. Antibiotics are not used to treatment of IC. The cause of IC is unknown, although some suspect it may be autoimmune where the immune system attacks the bladder. Several therapies are now available.
    • Eosinophilic cystitis (EC) is a rare form of cystitis that is diagnosed via biopsy. In these cases, the bladder wall is infiltrated with a high number of eosinophils. The cause of EC may be attributed to infection by Schistosoma haematobium or by certain medications in afflicted children. Some consider it a form of interstitial cystitis.
    • Hemorrhagic cystitis can occur as a side effect of cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, and radiation therapy. Radiation cystitis, one form of hemorrhagic cystitis is a rare consequence of patients undergoing radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Several adenovirus serotypes have been associated with an acute, self-limited hemorrhagic cystitis, which occurs primarily in boys. It is characterized by hematuria, and virus can usually be recovered from the urine. In sexually active women the most common cause of urinary tract infection is from E. coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus.
    • Cystitis cystica is a chronic cystitis glandularis accompanied by the formation of cysts. This disease can cause chronic urinary tract infections. It appears as small cysts filled with fluid and lined by one or more layers of epithelial cells. These are due to hydropic degeneration in center of Brunn’s nests

    Key Points

    • Cystitis is a urinary bladder inflammation that is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection in which case it is referred to as a urinary tract infection. Symptoms from a lower urinary tract include painful urination and either frequent urination or urge to urinate (or both), but neither may be present.
    • Traumatic cystitis is probably the most common form of cystitis in the female. It is due to bruising of the bladder, usually by abnormally forceful sexual intercourse.
    • Interstitial cystitis (IC) is considered more of an injury to the bladder resulting in constant irritation and rarely involves the presence of infection.

    Key Terms

    • cystitis: Cystitis is a urinary bladder inflammation that can result from any one of a number of distinct syndromes. It is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection in which case it is referred to as a urinary tract infection.