Fulguration for hunner ulcers: Long-term clinical outcomes

Joel H. Hillelsohn, Soroush Rais-Bahrami, Justin I. Friedlander, Zhamshid Okhunov, Mahyar Kashan, Lisa Rosen, Robert M. Moldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cystoscopic fulguration of Hunner ulcers in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome is a recommended therapy because it has the potential to rapidly ameliorate symptoms. We reviewed our experience with Hunner ulcer fulguration. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome treated with Hunner ulcer fulguration who were seen at our pelvic pain referral center between 1993 and 2011. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, intraoperative findings and long-term clinical outcomes were assessed. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to evaluate time to the first repeat procedure. Potential risk factors associated with repeat procedures were examined using the log rank test. Results: A total of 106 procedures were performed in 59 patients. The mean history of illness before first fulguration was 5 years and overall median followup was 44.8 months (IQR 52.2), as calculated from the time of the first fulguration. There were no significant associations between time to the first repeat procedure and any demographic criteria analyzed, patient reported interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome associated conditions or the number of Hunner ulcers fulgurated at the initial session. A total of 27 patients (45.8%) required repeat fulguration. Time to event analysis demonstrated that 12 months after the initial fulguration 13.1% of patients required repeat treatment. This rate increased to 57.2% at 48 months, when it plateaued. Conclusions: Fulguration of Hunner ulcers can be an effective treatment for patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and focal Hunner ulcers involving less than 25% of the bladder who have symptoms refractory to other therapies. However, a significant subset requires repeat treatment and some patients may even go on to require cystectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2238-2241
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Aged
  • Cystitis, Interstitial/complications
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulcer/etiology
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases/etiology


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