To investigate whether patients with interstitial cystitis show characteristics of other autoimmune diseases, and of Sjögren's syndrome in particular.
Clinical examination and laboratory testing of patients.
Outpatient clinic of Urology, Deaconess Hospital, Leiden; outpatient clinic of Immunology, University Hospital, Rotterdam.
Ten successive patients in whom interstitial cystitis was diagnosed on the basis of clinical picture, cytoscopy and bladder biopsy were examined clinically and immunologically.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca was found in six patients and focal lymphocytic sialoadenitis in five; two patients displayed both conditions, i.e. primary Sjögren's syndrome.
Interstitial cystitis is often accompanied by keratoconjunctivitis sicca, focal lymphocytic sialoadenitis or primary Sjögren's syndrome. The findings support the hypothesis that interstitial cystitis is an autoimmune cystitis.