New Italian Interstitial Cystitis Reference Centre

New Italian Interstitial Cystitis Reference Centre

A new HUB Reference Center for Interstitial Cystitis (IC) has opened in the Lazio region at the ICOT Marco Pasquali Institute – Latina to provide IC diagnosis, treatment, acceptance, and research.

At a ceremony on 26 June 2023, institutional and scientific authorities and patient associations will meet to inaugurate the centre and give presentations, including a presentation by Anna De Santis, ERN eUROGEN’s ePAG Representative from AICI, the Italian Interstitial Cystitis Association.

IC is a complex syndrome that mainly affects the bladder but which, if not diagnosed in time, develops serious comorbidities involving organs, muscles and the nerves of neighbouring systems, evolving into systemic disease. IC is often confused at the outset with recurrent cystitis but is a condition of chronic painful pelvic inflammation that can become seriously disabling. It is often characterised by severe symptoms and acute pain that prevent a regular relational, work and sexual life.

Until a few years ago, it was thought to be a gendered disease that primarily affected women, but in recent years increasing diagnoses of IC have been made in male patients, previously diagnosed as having chronic abacterial prostatitis. The new ICOT Reference Center will also be able to diagnose and treat men with IC.

Statistical data collected by AICI show that a patient suffering from IC takes an average of 5-10 years after having consulted at least 3-5 specialists before arriving at a diagnosis, often being told that everything relates to stress and that the problem is “just in their head.” It is hoped that this new reference centre will change this for Italian patients.