A Sanford doctor’s research may lead to a less invasive way to more accurately diagnose a bladder problem that affects quality of life for many patients.
Kevin Benson, MD, MS
(SIOUX FALLS, SD) – Kevin Benson, MD, MS, recently presented results of a one-year study of patients with interstitial cystitis (IC), an often misdiagnosed condition hallmarked by pelvic pain and urinary urgency and frequency, at the annual meeting of the International Incontinence Society in Scotland. The Sanford specialist in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Surgery was one of a select group of physicians chosen by his peers to present research findings at the event held in Scotland.
The objective of the study was to explore whether differential gene expression was seen in IC and to develop a non-invasive new testing method for IC that could be used to both diagnose the condition and to let patients know if they are predisposed to the disease. Preliminary results of the study involving 28 women showed that patients with IC had a unique gene expression, with different genes expressed in cells in their urine than patients without the disease.
Currently, most patients are not diagnosed with the condition until after they have suffered symptoms for years. The diagnosis is often not uniform and is difficult to make without biopsies and invasive testing. Many patients are misdiagnosed as having urinary tract infections, or other conditions, and miss out on the chance for early treatment that could improve their health and lifestyle.
Prior to the conference, the project was one of a select group of scientific abstracts chosen by society members for presentation to other specialists in urogynecology. There were approximately 2800 physicians who attended the conference for networking and the chance to learn the latest ideas on clinical practice treating incontinence.
Dr. Benson is now conducting a second study with a larger number of participants. This follow-up research will help determine if genetic testing of urine can be consistently used as a good diagnostic tool for IC.
Dr. Benson, a graduate of the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, practices at Sanford Clinic Urogynecology and Female Pelvic medicine in Sioux Falls. For more information about patient participation in the study, call the clinic at (605) 328-8750.