Urinary cytokines as markers for the intravesical inflammatory response have become an active area of research. Interleukin-1b, a well studied and early produced cytokine in the immune recognition cascade, was evaluated. After extensive analysis of 56 control and study group urine samples, a simplified and reliable protocol for the preparation of urine before cytokine analysis was devised. The application of an available serum interleukin-1b enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit for urinary interleukin-1b analysis was then tested. Finally, a reference value for interleukin-1b in normal human urine was established and urinary interleukin-1b was measured in various bladder diseases. The normal and interstitial cystitis groups showed no interleukin-1b elevation. Significant elevation of urinary interleukin-1b was found in patients with bacterial cystitis compared to the interstitial cystitis and control groups (p <0.001). Of the patients with bladder tumors 58% showed elevation of urinary interleukin-1b (p <0.001). Urinary interleukin-1b may be used as a marker to distinguish between bacterial and interstitial cystitis. The absence of urinary interleukin-1b in interstitial cystitis argues against an immunological or autoimmune etiology of the disorder. This study represents an important methodological approach to cytokine subtyping of bladder diseases.
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