Neurogenic inflammation and chronic pelvic pain
Chronic pelvic pain is a puzzling disease entity. The pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic pelvic pain are not clear and current treatment strategies are often not successful, leaving patients as well as health care providers frustrated. In a subgroup of patients with chronic pelvic pain (e.g., interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, vulvar vestibulitis, prostatodynia/prostatitis, and loin pain/hematuria syndrome) inflammatory changes are observed, for which no etiology has been identified. These inflammatory changes might be due to neurogenic inflammation. Applying the concept of neurogenic inflammation to chronic pelvic pain provides new insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of these pain syndromes, makes it possible to account for the heterogeneity and variability observed in the clinical presentation, and might lead to the development of novel therapies.