Vesicular Cystitis: A Chronic Cystitis Variant Often Unresponsive to Antibiotics and Electrofulguration

Joseph J. Crivelli, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of the study was to report on the presentation and outcomes of vesicular cystitis (VC), a chronic cystitis exhibiting translucent bladder mucosal vesicles, among women with antibiotic-refractory recurrent urinary tract infections (RUTIs). Methods: An analysis of our Institutional Review Board-approved series on antibiotic-refractory RUTIs was performed, selecting for documented VC lesions on cystoscopy. All patients had RUTIs defined as ≥3 urinary tract infections/year with positive urine culture. All patients were extensively treated with antibiotics with no resolution of RUTIs and were offered electrofulguration (EF) of VC lesions under anesthesia as a last resort. All patients had a 6-month post-EF office cystoscopy documenting persistence or resolution of the lesions, and a clinical outcome assessment based on RUTI frequency. Results: Of 482 patients, 18 (3.7%) treated during 2011-2017 met the study criteria. VC was most commonly found over the dome/anterior wall (7/18, 38%) and as pancystitis (7/18, 38%). There was often concomitant cystitis cystica of the trigone (8/18, 44%). At post-EF cystoscopy, persistence of VC was noted in 10/18 (56%) patients; 6/18 (33%) underwent repeat EF and an additional 3/18 (17%) were retreated due to new lesions after initial resolution. Two (11%) patients required simple cystectomy and urinary diversion due to RUTIs refractory to all interventions. Within a median follow-up of 2.8 years after EF, clinical cure was observed in 5/18 (28%), improvement in 10/18 (56%), and failure in 3/18 (17%) patients. Conclusions: Among women with antibiotic-refractory RUTIs, VC is an infrequent and persistent form of cystitis with a predilection for non-trigonal bladder surfaces, whose management is challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Chronic cystitis
  • Electrofulguration
  • Geriatric urology
  • Vesicular cystitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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