Urethral pain syndrome: role of cross-polarization OCT in the study of the disease pathogenesis
Despite significant worldwide experience in applying the optical coherence tomography (OCT) method in many fields of medicine, including urology, this study reports its first use for investigating the walls of the female urethra in patients with urethral pain syndrome (UPS). UPS is considered as part of a complex of chronic pelvic pain pathologies. It is characterized by the appearance of persistent or recurrent pain in the urethra in the absence of a urinary tract infection or objective local pathological abnormality. The causes of the pathology are still unclear. The multicomponent pathogenesis of chronic pelvic pain suggests that the tissues of the urethral wall in UPS are changed. However, in the routine of a doctor’s practice, there are currently no methods available for real-time in vivo structural visualization and monitoring of the organ pathology at the tissue architecture level. The paper presents the results of applying cross-polarization (CP) OCT method for a study of the female urethra in UPS.
The condition of the urethra was studied in 43 patients: 30 of them with UPS and 13 with normal urethra. It was shown, that use of CP OCT allowed detecting epithelial and underlying connective tissue alterations in patients with UPS. Atrophy of the epithelium and fibrosis were identified in 40.6% and in 55.5% of cases, respectively, which is important to consider when prescribing treatment. Thus, CP OCT can become an excellent diagnostic tool in the routine practice of doctors to identify abnormalities in the structure of urethral tissues and to observe the effect of the therapy. This work was financially supported by the RFBR grant, project No. 19-07-00395.
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Streltsova Olga S.
Privolzhsky Research Medical University, Department of urology named after E.V. Shakhov, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia
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