This is a type of bladder instillation where the bladder lining is tested with several solutions, one of which contains potassium. When the bladder lining is normal, ions such as potassium cannot penetrate the barrier provided by the lining. If the lining is abnormal, then ions such as potassium can penetrate the bladder wall and cause a lot of pain. This is one of the proposed mechanisms for chronic painful bladder disorders such as interstitial cystitis (IC). Therefore, placing a potassium solution in the bladder can test whether the bladder lining is normal or not. A potassium sensitivity test can be performed in the office. Since it can cause pain, if you test positive and you have pain, your provider may put a ‘rescue’ solution in the bladder after the potassium test to relieve your pain. A potassium sensitivity test is not a perfect test for the diagnosis of IC, however, when combined with other tests and components of your history it can be helpful in guiding treatment.
To learn more about the Potassium Sensitivity Test, also known as a bladder instillation test, available at Advanced & Minimally Invasive Gynecology, including laparoscopy, robotic laparoscopy or abdominal incisions, contact our practice.