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Potassium Sensitivity Test (KCL)

What is a potassium chloride sensitivity test (KCL)?

A potassium chloride sensitivity test is used to determine if your bladder is a source of pelvic pain, pain with sex, urgency, hesitancy, or frequency in urination that you may be observing. It is used to diagnose Interstitial Cystitis also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. This procedure is combined with an Urodynamic Test (UDT).

Why would I need this procedure?

There are several reasons that Dr. Hardy would like to perform this procedure and they are:

  • pain with a full bladder
  • pain with intercourse
  • frequency of urination during the day
  • frequency of urination during the night
  • inflammation noted on cystoscopy
  • history of endometriosis

What can I expect before the procedure?

Any two days before the procedure, you will be asked to complete a two-day diary (UROLOG) of your urination habits. The urolog can be a very helpful part of your evaluation. To complete the urolog, you will be given a "hat", which fits inside the toilet, to measure your urine. On the urolog, you will need to record the time and amount that you drink (intake) as well as the time and amount that you urinate (output). The third column is for any symptoms that you may have. For example, leaked urine, urgency, hesitancy, burning, etc. Record the volume using the "ml" measurement.

What can I expect during the procedure?

This procedure is done in our CHESAPEAKE office. You will be in our office for 45 minutes. A small, flexible catheter with a sensor will be placed in you urethra (the canal that carries urine from the bladder out of the body). The catheter is connected to our urodynamic machine which will print out a graph during the study. The bladder will be filled with sterile water to stimulate the bladder filling and a full bladder. You may be asked to cough, stand, and bear down during the study. You will then be asked to empty your bladder completely. Another small catheter will be inserted into the bladder. Two different solutions will be instilled into the bladder and you will be asked to rate your Urgency and Pain on a scale of 0 to 5. A rescue solution will be given at the end of the procedure and you will be asked to hold this solution in your bladder for 30 minutes.

What complications could occur?

Some possible complications that may occur are:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Irritation in the urethra from the catheter

You will be given a prescription for a 3 day course of antibiotic to prevent any bladder infections as well a prescription for Pyridium, which is an analgesic to take any irritation away.