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Acupuncture for the Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Symptoms

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00094874
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified October 2004 by The Mary Elizabeth Groff Surgical Medical Research and Education Charitable Trust.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : October 28, 2004
Last Update Posted : June 24, 2005
Information provided by:

Study Description
Brief Summary:

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been in existence for more than a thousand years. This clinical trial performs two types of acupuncture on traditional 'bladder' points to determine if one type demonstrates improvement over the other. In the first type needles stimulate acupuncture points on the skin, and in the second type the needles penetrate through the skin similar to how acupuncture is usually performed. The technique is done through shields so that people will not know what type of acupuncture they receive.

Patients must have at least moderately severe disease as determined by a urologist. They must be willing not to change their medical regimen for the duration of the trial. Patients will receive twelve treatments over six to twelve weeks. They will be asked to fill out symptom questionnaires and bladder diaries at regular intervals to monitor change. All treatment is free of charge, and patients who complete the trial will receive a small stipend.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Interstitial Cystitis Procedure: Acupuncture Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Patients eligible for enrollment include:

  • Age 18-65 years
  • Symptomatic IC for at least six months
  • Urinary frequency of at least eleven voids in a 24 hour period
  • A self-rated global discomfort score of 4 or greater on a 0-10 scale

Patients may not be enrolled who have a history of chronic bladder disease or pelvic disease including cancer, calculi, infection or complications of nervous system disease or diabetes. They must be on no blood thinning agents or have had any recent medication changes or bladder procedures.

After screening physical examination and history-taking, patients will be asked to fill out standard symptom questionnaires. They will be given a bladder diary to fill out for the 24 hours prior to their first acupuncture treatment which will be scheduled within a week.

Patients will be asked to return from once- to twice-weekly for a total of twelve treatments. Patients will complete a bladder diary before each treatment and a questionnaire form before every other visit. The same questionnaire will be used at the exit interview after the last treatment, and a final time four weeks after the last treatment. This is because we are interested in the duration of potential benefit from acupuncture treatment.

Patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. All acupuncture will be performed through plastic shields so that the patient does not know which group he or she has been assigned to. In the first type of acupuncture, retractable needles are used such that the patient feels a pin sensation but there is no penetration of the epidermis. In the second type, non-retractable needles penetrate the acupuncture points into deeper tissue. It is not known whether deeper penetration is required for acupuncture to work, or if acupuncture is of benefit at all for this condition.

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 60 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Double-Blind, Randomized Study of Puncturing Versus Non-Puncturing Acupuncture for the Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms
Study Start Date : September 2004
Estimated Study Completion Date : September 2005

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U.S. FDA Resources

Arms and Interventions

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Rate of improvement between arms as indicated by a Patient Overall Rating of Improvement Scale

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Improvement in Interstitial Cystitis Symptom and Problem Indices (validated symptom-specific measures)
  2. Improvement in University of Wisconsin-Interstitial Cystitis Scale (validated symptom-specific measure)
  3. Improvement in frequency, urgency and nocturia as measured on bladder diaries

Eligibility Criteria

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 18-65 years
  • Symptomatic IC for at least six months
  • Urinary frequency of at least eleven voids in a 24 hour period
  • A self-rated global discomfort score of 4 or greater on a 0-10 scale

Exclusion Criteria:

Medical History or Co-Morbid Conditions:

  • Any history of: bladder calculus, tuberculous cystitis; neurological disease or diabetic cystopathy; malignant bladder tumors, urethral cancer
  • Prior 3 years of uterine, cervical or vaginal cancer (women only)
  • Prior 6-12 weeks of: bacterial urinary tract infection; active genital herpes; gross hematuria
  • Concurrent active urethral calculus, ureteral calculus, symptomatic urethral diverticulum; documented chronic bacterial prostatitis (men only); active vaginitis, pregnancy (women only)

Prior and Concurrent Treatment for IC:

  • Any history of: cyclophosphamide, pelvic radiation; augmentation cystoplasty, cystectomy or cystolysis, neurectomy, implanted peripheral nerve stimulator; prostate surgery or treatment (men only)
  • In the prior 24 weeks: any treatment with intravesical BCG, cystocele, rectocele, urinary incontinence surgery, transvaginal surgery, hysterectomy, prolapse, vaginal delivery or C-section (women only)
  • Prior 6-12 weeks: any treatment by urethral dilatation, cystometrogram, urodynamics, cystoscopy/hydrodistention, bladder biopsy; prostate biopsy (men only); any intravesical treatment other than BCG
  • Prior 4 weeks: any new medications initiated for IC
  • Concurrent intravesical heparin, chronic use of acetylsalicylic acid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioid pain medications for another pain condition
Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00094874

United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Pain Medicine Center Recruiting
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Contact: Kevin A Dolan, MD    215-662-8816    kevin.dolan@uphs.upenn.edu   
Contact: Dell R Burkey, MD    215.662.3633    burkeydr@uphs.upenn.edu   
Sub-Investigator: Kevin A Dolan, MD         
Principal Investigator: Dell R Burkey, MD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
The Mary Elizabeth Groff Surgical Medical Research and Education Charitable Trust
More Information

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00094874     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 801685
First Posted: October 28, 2004    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 24, 2005
Last Verified: October 2004

Keywords provided by The Mary Elizabeth Groff Surgical Medical Research and Education Charitable Trust:
pelvic pain, bladder pain, urgency, frequency, nocturia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cystitis, Interstitial
Urinary Bladder Diseases
Urologic Diseases