Urinary nerve growth factor demonstrates potential diagnostic value

Written by Hannah Coaker, Future Science Group

Researchers from China Medical University (Liaoning, China), in collaboration with The Third Hospital of Shenyang (Liaoning, China), have reported that urinary nerve growth factor (NGF) may be a potential biomarker for the detection of overactive bladder (OAB), and the differential diagnosis of cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) and OAB.

The group conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of nine studies involving 259 patients with IC/PBS, 67 patients with OAB and 208 healthy controls. All patients met clinical criteria for IC/PBS, namely, suprapubic pain with a full bladder that was relieved after voiding and associated with severe frequency and nocturia.

The analysis revealed that patients with IC/PBS demonstrated higher urinary NGF and NGF/Cr levels compared with those of healthy people. In addition, the team noted a significant difference between patients with IC/PBS and patients with OAB symptoms with respect to the urinary NGF and NGF/Cr levels. When the patients were successfully treated, significantly lower urinary NGF levels were observed.

In light of these results, the team concluded that NGF may be a promising biomarker in the diagnosis of IC/PBS and OAB, and may assist in guiding the treatment of these conditions.

The research group, which was led by Ping Wang, a scientist from The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, has commented that the current evidence is limited, and a large, multicentre, randomized controlled trial with long-term follow-up is required in order to support these findings.

Source: Qu H-C, Zhang W, Yan S, Liu Y-L, Wang P. Urinary nerve growth factor could be a biomarker for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome: a meta-analysis. PLoS One doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106321 (2014) (Epub ahead of print).